The proxy database may assist defend seniors

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Seniors are the fastest growing age group in Ontario. By 2041, 25 to 30 percent of the population in Brantford and Brant Counties should be 65 years and older.

Older adults can be more prone to abuse of power, fraud, and financial abuse, especially if they experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive problems.

Mayor Kevin Davis said that as an attorney, he had drafted hundreds of power of attorney agreements. He called it an “enormous” tool and recommends that people have one in addition to a will.

Davis said that often people don’t know who someone’s power of attorney is and, when necessary, “run to law firms to find them.”

A database would make it easy for family members and healthcare workers to access information, he said.

I hear many stories from people in my community where there is an aging population, ”said Coun. Joshua Wall at a recent meeting of the city’s community development committee. “There isn’t enough (information) out there.”

We trust people, ”said Coun. Brian VanTilborg. “You hear some horror stories and families are devastated.”

City officials will consult with several local groups during their research, including the Grand River Council on Aging, the Elder Abuse Awareness Committee, the Community Legal Clinic, the Seniors’ Resource Center, and the Brantford-Brant Chamber of Commerce.

Staff were also asked to give the city council an opportunity to lobby other levels of government for greater protection of older adults who may be vulnerable to abuse by the elderly.

Coun. Cheryl Antoski said it is also important that people identified as proxies understand how difficult the role can be.

Coun. Jan Vanderstelt commended Carpenter for his work on veteran and senior issues over the years, calling his resolution a “pioneer law”.

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