Helplines

Call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused and is in immediate danger.

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of a senior. For more information on what elder abuse is, see the What is elder abuse section below.

24-hour, toll-free helplines

Family Violence Info Line

Phone: 310-1818
Get information, advice and referrals in over 170 languages.

Calgary Elder Abuse Resource Line

Phone: 403-705-3250
Located in the Kerby Centre, make a report or get information.

Edmonton Seniors Abuse Help Line

Phone: 780-454-8888
Get support, referrals and crisis intervention.

Red Deer Helping Elder Abuse Reduction (H.E.A.R.) Resource Information Line

Phone: 403-346-6076 or 1-877-454-2580
Get support, referrals and crisis intervention.

Strathcona County Elder Abuse Line

Phone: 780-464-7233
Get support, referrals and information.

Other services to contact

Protection for Persons in Care Reporting Line

Phone: 1-888-357-9339
Report the abuse of an adult receiving care or support services from publicly funded service providers such as:

  • hospitals
  • seniors' lodges
  • nursing homes
  • mental health facilities
  • shelters
  • group homes
  • addictions treatment centres
  • other supportive living settings

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

Phone: 1-877-427-4525
Report a serious concern about a guardian, co-decision maker, trustee or agent.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate

Phone: 1-844-644-0682 (toll free)
Access resolution to support to senior Albertans and their families.

Edmonton Seniors Protection Partnership

Phone: 780-477-2929
Make a report or get information.

Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network

Phone: 403-394-0306
Share complaints or concerns.

St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families (SAIF)

Phone: 780-460-2195
Get information, education and support.

Grande Prairie Seniors Outreach

Phone: 780-539-6255
Get information and resources.

What to do if you think you are being abused

Leave the situation if you are in immediate danger

Go to a safe place, such as with a neighbour, friend or relative. Go into a business or when calling a helpline ask to be taken to a shelter. If you are unable to leave your home, call 911 immediately.

Confide in someone you trust and tell them about what is happening

This could be a friend or family member, public health nurse, social worker, home care worker, someone at your place of worship, or a doctor.

Keep a record

Write down what is happening to you and keep a daily record. This will help you to document the abuse and help others assist you if you need it.

Take legal action

All forms of abuse are wrong. Some forms are illegal. You may want to think about a court protection order that would stop the abusive person from having contact with you. Your local police service or a police-based victim services unit can give you information.

Do not blame yourself. Know that it is not your fault and help is available. No one deserves to be abused. Many groups in your community want to help you to protect your rights, safety and dignity.

Help for victims

The Criminal Code of Canada sets out a variety of criminal offences that can occur in the context of elder abuse. These include offences such as

  • physical or sexual assault
  • offences against the rights of property, such as property theft, forgery and extortion
  • breach of trust and fraud

While no one ever expects to be a victim of crime, it is important to know that help is available for victims of crime.

If you have been a victim of crime, your first step is to call the police. They will investigate the crime and refer you to a victim services unit for assistance. Victim services units are staffed with trained, caring people who offer information, assistance and support to victims during the police investigation and throughout the criminal justice process.

What is elder abuse?

Forms of elder abuse

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of a senior.

Common forms of elder abuse include:

  • financial
  • emotional
  • physical
  • sexual
  • neglect
  • medication

Victims commonly suffer more than one type of abuse at the same time. The most frequently identified and reported types of elder abuse in Canada are financial and emotional.

Any senior can become a victim of elder abuse regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, income or education.

Elder abuse is often committed by someone known to the victim who is in a position of power, trust or authority. Approximately 25% of crimes against seniors are committed by family members, usually a spouse or adult child.

Signs of elder abuse

Like other types of family violence, the dynamics of elder abuse are complex. Elder abuse is often impacted by the mental and physical conditions of both the abuser and the victim. These factors interact in ways uniquely dependent on the individuals involved and the situation.

Common signs of elder abuse:

  • confusion
  • depression or anxiety
  • unexplained injuries
  • changes in hygiene
  • seeming fearful around certain people
  • fear or worry when talking about money

Resources and publications

Video

Elder abuse fact sheet

Elder abuse fact sheet - English

Elder abuse fact sheet – French

Elder abuse fact sheet – Plains Cree

Elder abuse fact sheet - Punjabi

Elder abuse fact sheet – Simplified Chinese

Elder abuse fact sheet – Spanish

Elder abuse fact sheet – Tagalog

Elder abuse fact sheet – Black Foot

Elder abuse fact sheet – Italian

Elder abuse fact sheet – Vietnamese

Financial Abuse Prevention – PowerPoint Presentation (.PPSX, 209 MB)

Publications

Addressing Elder Abuse in Alberta: A Strategy for Collective Action

Financial abuse of seniors fact sheet

Protecting Against Financial Abuse – Guide for older Albertans

It's Your Money -– rack card

Legislation guide for service providers

Service Provider Screening Guide for Elder Abuse

A Guide to Supported Decision-Making

Service Provider Guide to Understanding the Impact of Caregiving

Spot the difference: learn to recognize elder abuse, bullying and frauds and scams

Findings from the 2015 National Prevalence Study on the Mistreatment of Older Canadians

Coordinated Community Response Grant Program

Overview

The Taking Action Against Elder Abuse Coordinated Community Response Grant Program supports the development or enhancement of coordinated community response models.

Through a response model, community and government organizations work together to coordinate supports and services and increase their capacity to respond to elder abuse at the local level.

Participating organizations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Seniors centres
  • Police and victim services
  • Health service providers
  • Family and Community Support Services
  • Housing providers
  • Indigenous organizations
  • LGBTQ+-serving organizations
  • Cultural and immigrant-serving organizations

Since 2014, the government has provided $3.6 million to 31 communities to support the development or enhancement of coordinated community responses to elder abuse. The final term of the grant will end December 31, 2018.

Resources

Taking Action Against Elder Abuse Coordinated Community Response Pamphlet

2017-18 Grant Recipient Summaries Background

2017-18 Grant Recipient Summaries (PDF, 85 KB)

2015-16 Grant Recipient Summaries (PDF, 232 KB)

2014-15 Grant Recipient Summaries (PDF, 56 KB)

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is recognized each year on June 15. Many organizations from around the world hold events on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse.

We invite you to join with governments, community agencies, education institutions, and professionals in the field of aging by leading a WEAAD activity in your community or organization.

Use the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day poster and resource toolkit to help plan and promote your WEAAD activity.

Contact

To connect with Alberta Seniors and Housing Community Initiatives:

Email: elderabuseinfo@gov.ab.ca