We’re gathering stakeholder and public input to develop a new provincial definition of elder abuse that can be applied consistently to policies and programs that address elder abuse and improve the safety and well-being of Alberta seniors. It’s felt the current definition is too broad to provide adequate direction, and it is not consistently applied across the province.

Elder abuse is a complex issue that requires a collaborative and cross-sector response. Through this work, we aim to:

  • support a more unified government approach to prevent elder abuse
  • enable service providers to develop targeted skills and supports
  • provide clarity to responders and to affected seniors and their families

The Government of Canada is working to update the national definition of elder abuse. We will work closely with them to ensure our definitions align, while recognizing the different needs at provincial and federal levels.


  • Open

    June 2021

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Seniors and Housing

  • Phase 1A: Elder abuse definition (stakeholders)

    Includes discussion sessions for key stakeholders who work in elder abuse prevention, seniors supports, or family violence prevention to provide input on the updated definition of elder abuse.

    Summer 2021
  • Phase 1B: Elder abuse definition (public)

    Includes a public survey for Albertans to respond to a draft revised definition based on the stakeholder engagement.

    Late summer to fall 2021
  • Phase 2: Data collection and legislation

    Includes discussion sessions for key stakeholders to provide input based on the scope of the revised definition on a standardized data collection practice and review existing legislation.

    Fall 2021 to winter 2022

Get informed

Elder abuse is currently defined as any action or inaction, by self or others, which jeopardizes the health and well-being of an older adult. Prior to 2020, nearly one in 10 Alberta seniors experienced financial, emotional, physical, and other forms of abuse. The pandemic also highlighted the need for a more comprehensive response.

Get involved

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholders will be invited to participate in discussion sessions on the definition of elder abuse as part of Phase 1A.

Public engagement

Albertans will be invited to share feedback through an online survey later this summer as part of Phase 1B. Sign up to get notified when the public survey becomes available.


The updated definition of elder abuse will be used to improve information sharing and data collection practices, and to review and update provincial legislation as appropriate.



Connect with the Elder Abuse Prevention Engagement & Legislation Working Group at [email protected].

Sign up to get notified

Sign up to get notified as soon as the public survey opens.

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

This information is collected so that we may notify you when the public survey becomes available.

The personal information is being collected and used pursuant to section 33(c) and section 39(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

Questions regarding the collection, use, or disclosure of this information, may be directed to the Elder Abuse Prevention Engagement and Legislation Working Group by email at [email protected].

Questions about the FOIP Act may be directed to the Information Access and Privacy office at 780-427-5848.

Last updated: June 15, 2021

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