A Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada

The new Practical Guide website is online! Check it out here.

To learn more about the upcoming updated Practical Guide, watch Krista James’ recent webinar: Exploring the Updated Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada

This resource covers abuse and neglect occurring anywhere in Canada. It discusses relevant laws in each province and territory. The Practical Guide:

  • Explains what elder abuse is
  • Identifies guiding principles for best practice
  • Provides a summary of key laws relevant to elder abuse and neglect
  • Identifies obligations to respond to abuse, neglect and risk
  • Identifies key agencies to contact if you are concerned that an older adult is being abused or neglected
  • Outlines the relationship between mental capacity and abuse
  • Discusses the impact of professional confidentiality obligations and privacy law on abuse and neglect response
  • Provides a list of resource agencies

This material is copyrighted by the British Columbia Law Institute. We encourage wide distribution of this Guide and use of this material by other individuals and organizations, with the understanding that you agree not to make any modifications to the Guide. We also ask that individuals and organizations inform us prior to using this Guide in order to assist us with evaluation of this material.


The update of the Practical Guide was funded by Department of Justice Canada’s Victim Fund in 2019 and 2021.

Many thanks to the BC Association of Community Response Networks for their additional support.


Many thanks to Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario for their additional support on the Practical Guide.



This project was originally funded by the Human Resources and Social Development Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program.


This material contains information and guidance for practice. The information is not legal advice. Abuse or neglect of older adults can have serious consequences. In many instances it will be your obligation to ensure that an older adult gets legal advice as soon as possible. Legal advice will help protect your client. It can also protect you and your employer from a lawsuit.

Keywords: elder abuse; neglect; older adults; seniors; violence; practical guide; adult protection law; Canada


Related Files

Below you will find additional, relevant and specific documentation, backgrounders, research, resources, media releases and summaries that have been, or will be incorporated into our final publications and study papers.

If you have questions about these or other specific documents, please reach out to BCLI using our contact page or at the bottom of each page of our website.