June 15 marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Alberta’s government is proud to build on its commitment to safeguard the rights and well-being of seniors by addressing elder abuse across the province.

In partnership with the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council (AEAAC), Alberta’s government is supporting seniors by aiding communities to implement Safe Spaces programs. These Safe Spaces will support seniors escaping elder abuse, and help them access safe and secure spaces available in seniors lodges. The provincial government is investing more than $2 million over the next three years to ensure rural Albertans and Indigenous communities across the province can access this program.

“Elder abuse is a deeply concerning issue that affects many seniors in our province. This is an unacceptable reality we are determined to change. Elder abuse can take many forms, and our government is taking strong action to address it. The new Safe Spaces program will ensure our seniors have a safe place to go if needed.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services

Elder abuse can take various forms, including physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, as well as neglect. Elder abuse not only violates the fundamental human rights of seniors but also undermines their dignity, safety and overall quality of life.

This funding is crucial to supporting seniors who may be at risk of or experiencing abuse. Community-based organizations in Hinton, Medicine Hat, Camrose and Claresholm/Vulcan will each receive $10,000 as part of the first round of funding for the program.

“The significance of elder abuse safe spaces cannot be overstated. These havens offer not only safety but also hope and dignity to those older adults in need of Safe Spaces. The expansion into more communities will make a significant difference in the lives of those experiencing elder abuse across the province. It underscores our collective commitment to ensuring the safety, dignity and well-being of our seniors.”

Lilian Omorefe – Safe Spaces navigator, AEAAC, and Joanne Blinco - executive director, AEAAC

“The Safe Spaces Grant initiative is an opportunity for government, the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council and rural communities to work together to find creative solutions to meet the needs of older adults experiencing abuse. It is an example of how open-mindedness, commitment and collaboration can result in further steps forward to address elder abuse in our province.”

Charlene Sitar, regional elder abuse supports navigator, Hinton

Quick Facts

  • The next intake of grant applications for the Safe Spaces program will open in late June 2024.
  • The number of Albertans 65 and older will reach more than one million by 2035. 
  • The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (2015) estimates nearly 10 per cent of Alberta seniors have experienced elder abuse.

Related information