Tribunal Provides Guidance On Financial Abuse Of Elderly
By Jordan Glick and John Risk
Canada has an aging population, with more Canadians over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. As the population of older Canadians grows, so does the concerns for elder mistreatment, most commonly financial abuse. Despite this issue being a serious public health concern, the topic has rarely crept into the legal lexicon. It is limited to the clearest of cases, typically involving fraud.
Elder financial abuse is more than fraud. It covers a range of issues. Examples are the sale of assets against the wishes of an elderly person, taking advantage of an elder's lack of capacity to understand a contract, and using the personal information of an elder to obtain services. Lawmakers, regulators, courts and tribunals are turning their minds to these issues. Paving the way is the decision of Vice Chair Laurie Sanford ("VC Sanford") in the recent Licence Appeal Tribunal decision of 2138658 Ontario Ltd. o/a Seeley's Bay Retirement Home v. Registrar, Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority
("Seeley's Bay"). This is the first case to look at financial abuse in the context of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010