Government of Canada highlights elder abuse awareness project while marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

TORONTO, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Older people with disabilities and people who are deaf will benefit from increased access to supports and services aimed at preventing elder abuse through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP).

"Our government continues to combat the very serious issue of elder abuse in all its forms," underlined the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, to mark the upcoming World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15. "By supporting elder abuse prevention activities, our government is helping protect the well-being and security of Canadian seniors."

Minister of State Wong added that the Government of Canada recognizes the great work done by groups across Canada to raise awareness of elder abuse and help seniors protect themselves from its many forms, including financial abuse.

As part of these efforts, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) has received $600,000 in funding for its NHSP project. This will help the CACL develop community responses across Canada related to the abuse of older people with disabilities and people who are deaf. The project engages communities to develop tools, resources and best practices on awareness and prevention of elder abuse. As well, older individuals with disabilities and their families will develop individual safety plans to support them in their communities.

"Through this funding, the Disabled Women's Network Canada and the Canadian Association for Community Living, and many other provincial, territorial and local partners, are working together to improve communities across the country," said Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director, Disabled Women 's Network.

"The NHSP is an exceptional example of how a focused funding strategy can result in change in attitude, approach and a real change in communities," added Laurie Larson, President, Canadian Association for Community Living. "Local citizens are being given the opportunity to learn about and prevent the abuse of older people with disabilities and people who are deaf."

This project is one of 33 pan-Canadian initiatives collectively receiving over $14 million in NHSP funding.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013 the Government proposes to better safeguard the well-being of seniors. The Government also continues to ensure that Canadians are informed about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse.

Visit seniors.gc.ca for information on the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, as well as resources for preventative action.


Backgrounder


New Horizons for Seniors Program

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and their communities, and supports the Government of Canada's commitment to ensure the well-being of Canadian seniors and ending elder abuse in all its forms. Through the NHSP, the Government of Canada encourages seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others. Since its beginning, the NHSP has funded more than 12 200 projects in more than 1000 communities across Canada.

Pan-Canadian projects focus on developing or identifying tools, resources and promising practices that can be adapted and shared across communities, regions or Canada to address elder abuse. This funding can enable community members to better recognize elder abuse in all its forms and to improve the quality of life, safety and security of seniors. Eligible pan-Canadian grant or contribution projects must have a broad reach and impact. They are eligible for up to $250,000 in funding per year, for up to three years.

Other Actions Taken by the Government of Canada to Combat Elder Abuse

In 2008, the Government launched the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI), a multi-departmental, three-year initiative to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information on available supports. This initiative successfully concluded in 2011.

Building on the momentum created by the FEAI, the Government continues to address elder abuse through awareness campaigns that aim to help Canadians recognize the signs of elder abuse and give them information on available resources and supports.

In addition, the Government is addressing elder abuse through recently introduced legislation that will help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly persons.

For more information on the NHSP, visit seniors.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For further information (media only):

Mark Wall
Director of Communications
Office of Minister of State (Seniors)
613-617-7993

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559
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