June 15, 2018
To encourage seniors to reach out for help is an important step in eliminating elder abuse.
“Elder abuse can happen in any place and any culture,” said Councillor Scott McKeen. “Together, service providers, community partners, government and professionals can support our seniors to help them be healthy and safe by identifying barriers and reducing isolation.”
The City of Edmonton proclaimed June 15 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at an event at City Hall. Elder abuse is when someone harms or neglects an older person. Abuse can come from a family member, caregiver or neighbour. An estimated eight per cent of seniors experience abuse and many incidents are not reported.
Recognizing the barriers faced by senior immigrants is a priority in preventing elder abuse. The barriers may be language, different cultural practices and lack of familiarity with resources available.
“Our government is committed to ensuring all Albertans are able to live without fear and feel safe, including our elders across the diverse communities who call Alberta home,” said David Shepherd, MLA Edmonton-Centre.
“There is a concentrated and collaborative effort to work with seniors in our diverse communities,” said Sofia Yaqub, Executive Director of the Multicultural Women and Seniors Services Association. “The desire to find culturally acceptable and holistic solutions will have a positive impact for everyone involved.”
Individuals affected by elder abuse, or those concerned for the safety of a senior citizen, should call the Seniors’ Abuse Helpline, 24 hours a day, at 780-454-8888. Indicators of abuse may include withdrawal, loss of interest in hobbies or talking about difficulties that may indicate mistreatment.
Support for elder abuse victims is also coordinated through the Seniors Protection Partnership. They can be reached at 780-477-2929. For information and referral in more than 170 languages, 24 hours a day, please call 211.