EAPO Annual Virtual Conference Series

Risk Assessment of Older Adults: Practical Tools for Early Detection and Intervention of Elder Abuse

January 31st, 2023

Session: Perspectives of Cantonese Speaking Older Immigrants in Toronto on Elder Abuse Risk Factors

Elder abuse is a growing concern worldwide. Considerable research exists that examined risk factors for elder abuse, however, little is known about the risk factors in immigrant communities in Canada. We conducted a mixed-methods study that examined elder abuse risk factors in two recent and two long-term immigrant communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

This paper focuses on the elder abuse risk factors in the Cantonese-speaking immigrant community in the GTA. Our results based on surveys and semi-structured focus group interviews with Cantonese-speaking older immigrant women and men identified that physical, financial, and emotional dependencies on caregivers, and lack of English knowledge as the most significant risk factors. Our results also demonstrate that the risk factors intersect to position some older women and men more vulnerable even within the same immigrant community.

Interventions to address elder abuse in this community must focus on older immigrants’ dependence on others, in particular, financial dependence, which primarily is based on the policies that exclude newcomer older adults from pensions and other old age financial supports. Given the intersectional nature of the risk factors, interventions to address or to prevent elder abuse must involve a multi-sectoral approach that is based on equity and justice .


Guida Man

York university Associate Professor, Research Associate, Centre for Feminist Research, Research Associate, York Centre for Asian Research, 

Keefer Wong

Phd. student, York University

Ernest Leung

MA student, York & Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture, York University.

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Perspectives of Cantonese Speaking Older Immigrants in Toronto on Elder Abuse Risk Factors