Innovative Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy Helps Seniors Live Safely, With Dignity

    Ontario Marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day

    TORONTO, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - Ontario is working hard to address and prevent
elder abuse and help seniors live safely and with dignity, said Minister
Responsible for Seniors Jim Bradley today as the province observes Elder Abuse
Awareness Day.
    "There is no place for elder abuse in Ontario," said Bradley. "Making
Ontarians aware of elder abuse and working with community partners to
intervene, prevent and combat this growing problem is crucial to eliminating
elder abuse in this province."
    Ontario's Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse is the first provincial strategy
of its kind in Canada and focuses on three priorities:

      -  Co-ordination of community services
      -  Training for front-line staff
      -  Raising public awareness about elder abuse.

    The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA) received an
additional $1.65 million to continue the strategy to 2008-09. The funding
supports ONPEA's seven regional elder abuse consultants who work with more
than 50 elder abuse networks and coordinating committees across the province.
    In addition, the government has helped ONPEA launch television public
service announcements to raise awareness of financial, physical and verbal
abuse of seniors. The government also supports a province-wide, toll-free
Victims' Support line at 1-888-579-2888.
    Earlier this year, the government also provided 55 local elder abuse
networks with $453,000 in operational funding to support their community
efforts to combat this serious problem.
    "Elder abuse happens in silence and continues as long as the issue is
hidden," said ONPEA Executive Director Teri Kay. "Elder Abuse Awareness Day is
paramount in bringing this hidden problem to the forefront so that action can
be taken and seniors can live with dignity and respect."
    Elder Abuse Awareness Day was first proclaimed in 2004 and is marked each
year in October 19. The day recognizes the between 65,000 to 160,000 of
Ontario's 1.6 million seniors who have experienced, or will experience, some
form of financial, emotional or physical abuse.
    "The McGuinty government is helping seniors get the supports and services
they need and deserve," said Bradley. "That is why we are investing millions
of dollars to improve the quality of life for Ontario's seniors."
    The McGuinty government is committed to helping Ontario's seniors live
active, healthy and independent lives. Key government initiatives include:

      -  A three-year $700 million Aging at Home Strategy that will transform
         community health care services by matching the needs of the local
         senior population with the appropriate support services

      -  Moving toward regulating retirement homes by conducting a survey to
         determine the level of care and services currently being purchased
         by residents of Ontario's more than 700 retirement homes, and
         consulting stakeholders on what should be included in a standard,
         plain-language contract between retirement homes and residents.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: David Oved, Minister's Office, (416) 314-1400;
Sandra Nicholson, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7242

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