Help the Aged marks Elder Abuse Day by calling for vigilance

OTTAWA, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Help the Aged (Canada) is calling on the public to stay vigilant in watching for abuse of elderly in Canadian communities.

"Elder abuse happens every day across Canada, and it's seldom reported," says Jacques Bertrand, Executive Director at Help the Aged (Canada), "We need to change that, we need to make sure that we are aware and ready to act to protect seniors at risk in our communities."

According to Statistics Canada, up to ten per cent of seniors report having been subjected to abuse in the last five years. Research also indicates that very few cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities, and fewer are fully investigated.

"When up to one in ten Canadian seniors faces abuse, it's clear Canadians need to take action in their every day lives and their communities," says Bertrand.

Elder abuse can take many forms, not just physical violence against seniors. Financial abuse, such as stealing of pension money, is a common problem. Many seniors don't report being abused because they are isolated and don't know who to call.

"Our programs, such as Reaching Out To Isolated Seniors (ROTIS) try to mitigate the risks by providing seniors information on where to get help. However, our partners in the ROTIS network can't spot every case," says Bertrand, "that's why we need the public to report suspected cases of abuse to the police and social services. That's what we want people to remember on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day."

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was first declared by the World Health Organization and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse to "reflect the need for people to understand what abuse and neglect of older adults is and how it can be prevented."

SOURCE HELP THE AGED (CANADA)

For further information: For further information: Brenda Packer, Public Relations Coordinator, Help the Aged Canada, Toll free number: 1-800-648-1111, Official website: www.helptheaged.ca

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HELP THE AGED (CANADA)

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