Checklist on Questions to Ask

The first question to ask in any abuse situation  – Is this an emergency?  If yes, Call  911.  For other situations, it is useful to go through the ABUSER checklist:

  • Acknowledge? –  Be aware of changes in behaviour that cause concern
  • Barriers? – Are there barriers such as lack of mobility, dependency for daily living tasks, mental illness, disability.
  • Urgency? – Assess immediate needs and potential risk of physical harm.
  • Screen? – Assess person’s physical, emotional and mental capacity to help themselves.
  • Empower? – Inform person of their rights, resources and offer assistance
  • Refer? – Offer support or consultation from other resources.

You should refer to our Reference Guide below for more information on:

  • types of elder abuse and neglect;
  • indicators of abuse and/or neglect;
  • interview strategy;
  • possible interventions;
  • educating the victim about support information;
  • developing a possible safety plan; and,
  • phone numbers for consultation and coordination of a response/referral.
Reference Guide for Service Providers Assisting Older Adults
Reference Guide for Service Providers Assisting Older Adults


From the original Elder Abuse Assessment and Intervention Reference Guide,  for service providers assisting older adults, developed by the Hamilton Council Against Abuse of Older Persons.  For a pdf version of this guide for BC, click on this link: Elder-Abuse-Assessment-and-Intervention-Reference-Guide-edited