Seniors Outreach - November 23, 2016

November is Family Violence Prevention month in Alberta and at Seniors Outreach we have been focusing on the sensitive topic of Elder Abuse.
Community Outreach Worker Elizabeth Hoppins and myself were able to provide presentations on elder abuse to the communities of Linden and Torrington last week. Yesterday we will have hosted presentations in both Three Hills and Trochu, providing Kneehill County area residents with valuable knowledge, awareness indicators and resources as to where to find help. Our staff at Seniors Outreach and one of our board members will be attending a workshop on Elder Abuse presented by the Ministry of Seniors and Housing this week as well. Its been a busy but very productive month!
Elder Abuse can take several forms, often with more than one type of abuse occurring at the same time for individuals. National and provincial statistics indicate that the two most identified and reported types of elder abuse are financial and psychological. Any senior can become a victim of elder abuse regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, income or education. Although there is limited data about elder abuse in Canada and throughout the world, it is estimated that over 8% of older adults in Canada are likely to experience abuse. It is believed that many cases of elder abuse go unreported.
Elder abuse if often committed by someone known to the victim, such as a family member, friend or caregiver who is in a position of power, trust or authority. Approximately 25% of crimes against older adults are committed by family members, usually a spouse or an adult child.
If you are being abused and you are in immediate danger, leave the situation. Go to a safe place immediately, such as a neighbour, friend or relative. If you are unable to leave your home, CALL 911. Confide in someone you trust. Talk to someone about what is happening, such as a friend or family member, public health nurse, home care worker, someone at your place of worship or your doctor.
DON’T BLAME YOURSELF! Know that it is not your fault and help is available. Please ask for help because you do not deserve to be abused. Many groups in our community want to help you to protect your rights, safety and dignity. We are here at Seniors Outreach to help, call 403-443-2555. You are not alone.