Elder Abuse Awareness


Every senior is a valuable member of society and has a right to be free of abuse.

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of an older person. An act of harm or the neglect resulting from a failure to act is especially detrimental when inflicted by those in a position of trust, power or responsibility.

Like other forms of abuse, elder abuse is a complex issue, one that is easy to form misconceptions about. For many, the term “elder abuse” evokes images of frail or mentally diminished individuals living in nursing homes. It might bring to mind neglected seniors who live alone without care or relatives dropping by for a visit. While these images do fall within the spectrum of elder abuse, it isn’t just a problem of older people living on the margins of everyday life. Elder abuse can happen to any older person, regardless of: cultural or ethnic group, physical or mental health or socio-economic group.

Elder abuse can take several forms including financial, emotional, physical, sexual, neglect and medication. Often more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time. The two most frequently identified and reported types of elder abuse in Canada are financial and emotional.

It’s important to raise the awareness of this issue and how unacceptable it is, and to inform people in the community that things can be done to improve their life situation. If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse and would like some information and help, contact the resources below.

In case of emergency, call 9-1-1 – Do not hesitate to call the police if you suspect a crime has been committed or that someone is in danger. If there is no immediate danger, call your local police to discuss your concerns with a police officer.

The following is a list of elder abuse resources:

  • Calgary Kerby Elder Abuse Line Phone: 403-705-3250 (24 hours)
  • Alberta Family Violence Info Line Phone: 310-1818 toll-free (24 hours) for information, advice and referrals.

To report abuse or safety concerns for seniors in publicly funded care facilities including

  • Hospitals, seniors’ lodges and nursing homes call the Safeguards for Vulnerable Adults Information and Reporting Line) Phone: 1-888-357-9339 FREE
  • Go on the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network website and click on Getting Help and contact information. www.albertaelderabuse.ca

Next week’s article will address the signs of elder abuse and what to do if you are being abused. The guest speaker for the FCSS Senior’s Tea on June 23 will address Elder Abuse.

Source High River FCSS