Government of Canada highlights World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014

Canadians join the world in support of elders

Every year, the 15th of June marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

An initiative that originated in Canada and flourished worldwide with the help of the World Health Organization, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day focuses on the abuse and neglect that older adults experience and how it can be stopped or prevented.

This special day brings together individuals, communities and organizations to exchange ideas and take appropriate action against the mistreatment of older people in communities around the world. It is an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on how elder abuse threatens the well-being of the seniors we love.

Abuse is a serious issue. It has been estimated that between 4 and 10 percent of Canadian seniors experience some form of abuse. No matter the shape it takes, whether physical, emotional, or financial, abuse should never be tolerated.

The Government of Canada has made combatting elder abuse a top priority. In addition to awareness activities, we provide funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program to organizations across Canada for projects that address elder abuse.

As well, further to the Protecting Seniors Act, we are making great strides to protect and empower older adults. For instance, we recently introduced in Parliament the Bill on the Digital Privacy Act, which will better protect seniors against fraud and financial abuse, as well as the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, which gives those most vulnerable in society, such as seniors, the tools to be treated with dignity and respect by the legal system.

As part of the awareness activities, the Federal/ Provincial/ Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum recently released the Power of Attorney and Joint Bank Accounts brochure, which highlights the risks, benefits and possible unintended consequences of opening a joint bank account or granting someone a power of attorney.

For more information and resources on elder abuse, visit seniors.gc.ca.

Seniors deserve to live with dignity and respect. Our government is committed to helping ensure they lead the best possible life, entirely free of abuse.

Diane Finley P.C., M.P. Haldimand-Norfolk