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Seniors helped build this province and are the strength of Alberta. Unfortunately, they are not always treated with the respect they deserve. Prior to 2020, we estimated nearly one in 10 Alberta seniors were subjected to some form of abuse. Anecdotally, community organizations are reporting an increase in the incidence, complexity, and severity of elder abuse cases in Alberta.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an important occasion for us to stand together and raise our voices against elder abuse. Today, I was pleased to announce actions the Government of Alberta is taking to prevent and address these crimes. We were pleased to partner with the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council to provide $650,000 to 16 organizations to improve supports for seniors being abused. We are also updating how we respond to elder abuse and better understand, recognize, and prevent it at the community level. Our first step is to clearly define the term 'elder abuse' with input from community organizations and the public.
Elder abuse is a complex issue. This is why we are working closely with community partners to examine it at a local level. It will take the work of many to prevent elder abuse in all of our communities. I believe if we stand united and work together, we can keep all seniors safe and free from abuse. Because elder abuse is not acceptable, for anyone, and in any form.
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.