World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Today, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse thrives in secrecy, isolation and silence, making it everyone’s responsibility to stand up for the human rights of older adults. Awareness of elder abuse is one of the best ways to prevent it.
This year, the province provided funding to support a two-week social media campaign by 14 seniors’ safety programs to raise awareness in communities.
Elder abuse can take many forms – financial, emotional, psychological, physical or sexual. It can also involve neglect, which is means failing to provide the necessities of life such as food, clothing, safe shelter, medical attention or personal care.
“We all may know someone experiencing abuse,” said Seniors Minister Kelly Regan. “Ageist attitudes and beliefs can cause people to treat older adults as if they are less important or valued. These attitudes allow people to believe they have a right to ignore, control or make decisions for an older adult. They do not. I encourage Nova Scotians to check on older family members and neighbours who may be feeling lonely or isolated and ask how they are doing. Your intervention can make a difference.”
If people know of seniors experiencing abuse or having difficulties, they can call their local police agency, 211 or reach out to the seniors’ safety program in their area for advice and information.
Seniors’ safety programs coordinators across Nova Scotia see the impact of senior abuse in our local communities. We are proud to work with our partners in policing, home care, local fire departments and the community on this important issue, to raise awareness and be the catalyst for change and support for our seniors to ensure they live safely and free from abuse.
Michelle Parker, coordinator, Kings County Seniors’ Safety
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue
- grants went to programs in Digby and area, Municipality of Clare, and the counties of Kings, Annapolis, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg, Hants, Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Victoria and Richmond
For contact information for the seniors’ safety program in your area, please visit: https://novascotia.ca/seniors/senior_Safety_Programs.asp
The Department of Seniors’ booklet, Understanding Senior Abuse, is available at https://novascotia.ca/seniors/stopabuse/ . To receive a printed copy of the booklet, call 1-844-277-0770
Updates on SHIFT, Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population, are at: https://novascotia.ca/shift/