POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 115 What You Need to Know About Elder Abuse •BELIEVE the person. Do not question what they are telling you. You may be the very first person that has ever been entrusted with this information. It may be hard to understand what is going on especially if the perpetrator is a nice person to you or someone you know. •Do not judge the person. Listen to what they are saying to you. Do not express pity or tell them what to do. Tell them you care about them and offer them a level of support that you feel comfortable providing and know that you can provide on an ongoing basis. Do not promise them things you know you can not do or do not feel comfortable doing. •Educate yourself on resources available to older persons who are being abused. You can do this by calling your local community information centre, community care access centre, community support agency, talking to your own doctor, your lawyer or searching on the internet for Ontario resources and/or information. •Do not deny what is going on. If you choose to deny what is going on or not to listen to a person, this will serve to isolate the person who is being abused even further. •Understand that making efforts to change an abusive relationship is extremely difficult. A person who is being abused can be very afraid and not certain what to do. It can take a very long time for people to decide to make a change in their lives, to reach out for help or to even talk about their situation. •Encourage the person to seek help and assistance. Offer to help them find the right place to turn to if this is something you are prepared and able to do. • Do not confront the perpetrator yourself. This could put you and/or the person who is being abused in trouble. Remember, if you or someone you know has been abused or is experiencing abuse, you are not alone - help is available. THE SINGLE LARGEST FACTOR THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND/OR MAINTENANCE OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP IS ISOLATION. TALKING TO A PERSON IS ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS TO BREAKING DOWN THIS ISOLATION. IF A PERSON DOES TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE BEING ABUSED YOU SHOULD : The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse