www.ccelderlaw.ca: the New Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada

  • June 10, 2022
  • Krista James, Lawyer and National Director of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law

The Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL) has updated and re-published our Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada as a French-English bilingual website. This article will highlight key features of the Practical Guide.

  1. Modules on the Law in each Province and Territory

The website contains a module on relevant aspects of law and policy in each of the provinces and territories. The modules can be accessed from a drop down box on the landing page.

Each module covers:

  • Adult protection legislation (if it exists in that jurisdiction)
  • Remedies available under family violence legislation
  • Rules and response requirements related to abuse occurring in long-term care
  • Privacy law, confidentiality, solicitor-client privilege, and their impact on elder abuse response
  • Abuse and neglect reporting responsibilities unique to specific professional groups
  • Aspects of employment law, such as family violence leave provisions

Each module also summarizes the various financial substitute decision-makers in that province or territory, the powers and duties they have, and how to remove their authority if they appear to abusing an older person or their authority as substitute decision-maker.

The modules review critical aspects of policy, such as criminal prosecution policy and income assistance benefits available to older immigrants whose sponsors are abusing or neglecting them.

Each module identifies key contact agencies, such as where an older person can find legal help or victim assistance.

  1. Federal Legislation

The Practical Guide has a module on federal laws that apply to elder abuse. The section identifies Criminal Code of Canada offences that could apply to instances of abuse and neglect. The section also discusses family class immigration and sponsorship breakdown and federal privacy laws that apply to abuse and neglect response by federally regulated sectors, such as banks.

When older Indigenous people are living on reserves, the rights and options for response can be different. The Practical Guide contains a module on rights on reserves that addresses protection orders available under the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, and some other law and policy issues linked to supporting older Indigenous people who have experienced abuse or neglect.












  1. Best Practices in Elder Abuse Response

Even with a full understanding of law and policy, you may be uncertain of how to respond in an ethical and supportive way. The new Practical Guide addresses this challenge with the following two modules.

A module on “Lenses for Inclusive Practice” contains information on:

  • Trauma-informed practice;
  • Cultural humility and safety;
  • Age, disability, and dementia-friendly practices;
  • Gender dynamic related to elder abuse; and
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity

The Guide also includes 12 guiding principles for best practice.

An icon located on the far top right of the page allows you to form a PDF of any page on the website for ease of printing, and legislation titles link to the full text versions on Canlii.

The Practical Guide website was made possible by funding from the Department of Justice Canada Victims Fund, the BC Association of Community Response Networks, and Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario. Please reach out if you would like to come on board as a project partner to help keep the Practical Guide current.













To lear more about the Practical Guide you can listen to one of our upcoming webinars. Follow us on Twitter @CCElderLaw or register for our newsletter to get updates with webinar registration information.

Any article or other information or content expressed or made available in this Section is that of the respective author(s) and not of the OBA.