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Protecting Yourself and Others from Elder Abuse

04/10/2019

 

WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?

According to World Health Organization, elder abuse is defined as, “A single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person” (World Health Organization). Forms of elder abuse include physical, psychological / emotional, sexual and financial abuse as well as both intentional and unintentional neglect.

DID YOU KNOW?

Older adults can become more vulnerable to abuse as a result of a decline in physical, mental or cognitive health, a new relationship, caregiver burnout, or any circumstances that impacts a person’s life in a negative way. Socially isolating oneself due to life circumstances beyond one’s control is a huge risk factor, which in turn increases the potential for abuse and mistreatment. Despite common stereotypes, it is important to acknowledge that Elder Abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, income or culture.

SOCIETAL IMPACT

It is currently estimated that 4 to 10 percent of Canadian seniors experience abuse, (Stats Canada) numbering a total of approximately 254,300 to 635,800 seniors (Stats Canada). Due to numerous circumstances, only 20 percent of elder abuse incidences are reported (Stats Canada). Within the next 10 years, the percentage of seniors will drastically increase, with seniors reaching an estimated 9.5 million in 2030, making up 23 percent, nearly a quarter, of the Canadian population (Government of Canada). The demographics of the ageing population emphasize the need to acknowledge that elder abuse is a significant problem. Cultivating an understanding of elder abuse and connecting seniors to resources readily available in the community will not only empower seniors to take ownership of their well-being, but it can also act as a preventative measure by encouraging seniors to take important steps to protect themselves and recognize when to reach out for support.  

ELDER ABUSE RESPONSE AND REFERRAL SERVICE

Through a client-centred approach, the Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre’s Elder Abuse Response and Referral Service (EARRS) program works collaboratively with clients, caregivers and service providers in the community to help build support networks with the aim of empowering and helping clients regain some control in their lives. The EARRS program offers information, referrals, intake, consultation and direct support to seniors. Through the Keeping Ottawa Seniors Connected project (KOSC), funded by ESDC’s New Horizons for Seniors, we have continued to provide valuable Education and Awareness Sessions to senior’s groups and community service providers.

PROTECTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS – SOCIAL AWARENESS SESSIONS AT THE OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY

Please find a list of dates and branch location below for the EARRS Protecting Yourself and Others – Social Awareness Session;

By educating people on how to recognize Elder Abuse, what they can do to help, and what resources are available in the community, EARRS endeavours to offer hope that the current situation an older person is facing is not necessarily their future and that positive change is possible.

              TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Check out the Elder Abuse Response and Referral Service RESOURCE LIST FOR SENIORS on the Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre website by clicking here

 

 

This article was put together by Andréa Katz, Education and Awareness Facilitator for Elder Abuse Response & Referral Service (EARRS) with the Nepean, Rideau & Osgoode Community Resource Centre.