Recently Alberta Council on Aging directors have been asked, as per president Fred Olsen to make a stand alone statement on elder abuse in our talking points.  Each area being highlighted in the existing document does impinge on whether or not an older person is supported in their community and ultimately their  wellbeing.  The only direct reference regarding elder abuse is mention of Protection for Persons in Care Act.  It is stated the council would like to see the legislation expanded to cover older persons living in a care facility (and their community home) whether it is publicly or privately owned and operated. Legislation should also extend to home care services- again whether public or private.  Presently the act covers only people living in publicly funded lodges, care facilities and hospital. This topic has been raised with the government each time we meet with the seniors ministry (VanderBurg, Quest, Johnson, Hoffman).

 

Early in the new year, Alberta Council on Aging was invited to take part in the  province wide committee to ‘refresh the elder abuse’ project.  Our executive director is a recent trainee as trainer under the Taking Action Against Elder Abuse program sponsored by Alberta Health.

 

Our core program Senior Friendly™ is about raising awareness and developing strong empathy regarding the needs and worth of older persons.  The Senior Friendly™ Public Policy speaks of reduction of elder abuse and most of the course is about treating older persons better.  The town of Bridgewater Nova Scotia, under a Justice grant used our program as a means of becoming an age friendly town with a primary goal of identifying and reducing elder abuse.

 

The grant we received from New Horizon (2014-15) was given to us under the heading of elder abuse reduction through the heightening of financial literacy for seniors-  hence the Recognizing Fraud program.  Other materials were published at this time about pre and post retirement.  The financial literacy is aimed also at elder abuse reduction. 

 

We publish our materials and share them out as widely as possible. 

 

Under a SCiP project 2015 we revised the existing manual Alberta Council on Aging created for service providers (called Helping Hands), again under a New Horizon Grant several years ago.  The manual had become out of date and we thought from a programming standpoint this manual would be the responsibility of the government or an organization such as Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness network.  There is a professional obligation to keep materials current.  Our SCiP project took the perspective of the importance of self-identifying abuse- hence the Recognizing Abuse booklet.  Right now this booklet is in the editing stage.  It is our hope we will create a similar toolkit as with the Recognizing Fraud to ensure dissemination of the materials as well as a train the trainer opportunity.

 

If we do a search of our communications whether newsletter, website or participation in government strategies, we are very much concerned about identifying and reducing elder abuse in its many forms. 

 

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