It’s time to work together to stop abuse elsewhere

By Josephine Pon

Minister of Seniors and Housing

Aug 5, 2022 | 2:54 PM

Seniors built this province, and they continue to serve as pillars in our communities. They are the parents, grandparents, friends, neighbours, colleagues, volunteers, wisdom-granters and storytellers who play indispensable roles in our lives. Seniors should be cherished members of our families and communities but, sadly, that is not always the case.

Elder abuse is a serious issue in our province. It is estimated that one in 10 Alberta seniors is a victim of elder abuse, but any number is too many. It breaks my heart to know there are seniors who are prey to abuse that can be financial, sexual, physical or emotional in nature. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made a difficult situation worse by increasing seniors’ risk factors for abuse, such as social isolation.

It has never been more important to put a stop to elder abuse. This is why Alberta’s government has created a new plan, A Collective Approach: Alberta’s strategy for preventing and addressing elder abuse.

A Collective Approach outlines how we can all work together over the next five years to create a safer future for our seniors. It focuses on increased awareness, enhanced training for service providers, coordinated community response, strengthened protective laws and policies, and improved data sharing and collecting. The new strategy also includes an updated definition of elder abuse that will be consistently applied across the family violence prevention network.

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