PROVINCE LAUNCHES CONSULTATION WITH SENIORS ON PREVENTION OF ELDER ABUSE
– – – Province Proclaims Today World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Manitoba: Rondeau
The province has launched consultations to help inform its decisions about adult-protection legislation and ensure older adults affected by abuse have access to essential services and supports, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
The minister made the announcement as he proclaimed June 15 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in Manitoba.
“We must do everything we can to protect older adults living in the community who may be affected by abuse,” said Rondeau. “These consultations will help to inform our future plans and ensure we provide the most effective services and supports, when and where they’re needed.”
The consultations will continue through the fall, involving service providers and community representatives, and will include a survey, focus groups and special-interest group roundtables.
Rondeau noted the consultations are an important part of the provincial Elder Abuse Strategy that focuses on awareness, education, prevention and intervention. The strategy includes:
a 24-hour seniors abuse support line;
an elder-abuse consultant to co-ordinate seniors’ services;
community/regional response teams;
education and awareness resources;
funded partnerships with organizations serving seniors including Age and Opportunities, Support Services for Older Adults, Klinic Community Health Centre and the Good Neighbours Active Living Centre; and
the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative, which supports seniors in leading active, socially engaged, independent lives that contribute to healthy aging.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and is celebrated annually on June 15. People are encouraged to wear something purple, and communities and municipalities are encouraged to hold events to raise awareness of elder abuse and how to prevent it.
In June 2006, at the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event, the province announced $25,000 in support for the new Safe Suite Initiative, which provides a safe housing situation for victims of elder abuse. In October 2006, Age and Opportunity sheltered its first client. A second suite was opened in July 2007 and a third in July 2010. Since implementation of the program, 23 individuals (five from rural areas) have accessed safe accommodation through the program.
The province, in partnership with the Manitoba Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, has developed a WEAAD Manitoba website that provides ideas for planning events, resources to support WEAAD events and an opportunity to register events.
Concerns about elder abuse should be directed to the 24-hour seniors abuse support line at 1‑888‑896-7183 (toll-free). More information about Manitoba’s Elder Abuse Strategy is available from the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat at 204-945-6565 or www.gov.mb.ca/shas.