Local Organizations Shine Spotlight On Elder Abuse

In highlighting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Watch for Senior Citizens Yellow Sign, Oakville, Halton Regional Police, Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 2015
Local Organizations Shine Spotlight On Elder Abuse

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Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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Nearly one in 10 Ontario seniors will experience some form of elder abuse, yet just a fraction of those cases will be reported. To help bring this important issue to light, Halton Region Police, registered nurses, and community organizations are hosting an event for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 18.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is recognized around the globe every June to raise the visibility of elder abuse and related issues. This local event is being jointly presented by Halton Regional Police Service, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Halton chapter, Elder Abuse Ontario, and the Elder Abuse Prevention Committee of Halton.

“Elder abuse is like a big elephant in the room, and not many people want to talk about it,” says Karimah Alidina, president of RNAO’s Halton chapter, adding that elder abuse can have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of seniors. “We need to hold an open and honest dialogue so that we can better address elder abuse, and protect Halton Region’s older population.”

Between 2010 and 2014, Halton police received more than 400 reports of elder abuse. About 60 per cent of these reports were related to assault, but older adults are vulnerable to many forms of abuse – including physical, emotional, financial, sexual, and neglect.

“Our elders deserve our respect,love and appreciation. They are our parents, grandparents and cornerstones of our community,” says Stephen Tanner, Chief of Halton Regional Police Service. “Our police force works closely with our community partners to educate the public, prevent abuse and neglect and provide support to our elders.”

Four out of five instances of elder abuse go undetected. Often, seniors are reluctant to report incidents because of fear or shame. That’s why raising awareness of elder abuse is so important, says Rochella Vassell of Elder Abuse Ontario.

“This local event will heighten awareness that elder abuse is a local issue that must be addressed and taken seriously,” Vassell says. “Every person in our community is encouraged to promote seniors’ rights and ensure they are treated with respect and dignity.”

More than 13 community organizations are participating in the event, as well as Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn.

The agenda for the event is as follows:

5:30 p.m.: Registration and networking (refreshments provided)
6:00 p.m.: Welcome
6:10 p.m.: Remarks from MPP Kevin Flynn
6:25 p.m.: Presentation from Dr. Veronique Boscart
6:50 p.m.: Panel discussion

  • Nadine Clarke, Halton Regional Police Service
  • Keith Jim, Behavioural Supports Ontario Community Outreach Team
  • Paul Proteau, Crime Stoppers
  • Rochella Vassell, Elder Abuse Ontario

7:20 p.m.: Question and answer period
7:30 p.m.: Poster viewing
This event will take place at the Halton Region Auditorium, 1151 Bronte Rd., Oakville on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

To register please visit http://bit.ly/WEAADREGISTER or call the Halton Seniors Helpline at 1-866-457-8252.

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