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Elder abuse is a complex issue which requires a community response. We know rates of family violence, including elder abuse, tend to increase during and following public health crises and economic downturns. I’ve heard directly from some communities there is reason to suspect cases of elder abuse are on the rise in our province. We must take action now to protect our seniors.
I was pleased to announce $750,000 over 2 years in grant funding to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council. The Council will use these funds to increase supports for seniors affected by elder abuse, explore a consistent approach to data collection, and enhance the skills of responders. Thanks to the Council’s unmatched expertise and community connections, we will get these funds right into the hands of community organizers and service providers so they have the resources they need to help seniors at the local level.
While this is an excellent step in the right direction, we know there is more work to be done. Stakeholders have told me there is a need for stronger provincial leadership. Alberta’s government is committed to working with our provincial stakeholders to identify how we can provide better guidance and leadership at the provincial level. I hope to update you on this work in the coming months.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes for Alberta seniors, as the increased work to address and prevent elder abuse unfolds. If you are in need of more information or supports on elder abuse, please visit Elder abuse - Get help or the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council.
It is important to know where to turn if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence:
- Call 911 if you, or someone you know, is being abused and is in immediate danger.
- The police can apply for an Emergency Protection Order to provide you with immediate protection if you are in imminent danger.
- A 24-hour Family Violence Info Line is available at 310‑1818, to receive anonymous help in more than 170 languages.
- There are 3 elder abuse shelters in Alberta:
- There is a mandatory reporting requirement of abuse of adults receiving care or support from publicly funded service providers, including hospitals, seniors’ lodges, shelters and nursing homes. You can contact Protection for Persons in Care at 1-888-357-9339.
Josephine Pon served as Minister of Seniors and Housing from April 30, 2019 to October 24, 2022.