McGuinty Government Continuing To Protect Ontario Seniors

           $1.6 Million To Help Older Victims Of Abuse And Neglect

    TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing more than
$1.6 million over the next two years to combat elder abuse and neglect,
Minister Responsible for Seniors Jim Bradley announced today.
    Ontario's Elder Abuse Strategy, the first of its kind in Canada, focuses
on three priorities: co-ordination of community services, training for
front-line staff, and raising public awareness about this important issue. The
funding will go to the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
(ONPEA) to support its regional elder abuse consultants for another two years.
The consultants have helped support more than 50 elder abuse networks or
coordinating committees across the province.
    "Our government will not tolerate the abuse or neglect of seniors," said
Bradley. "That is why we are working with community partners to intervene,
prevent and combat this growing problem."
    The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat (OSS), ONPEA Abuse and the Ministry of
the Attorney General joined forces five years ago to initiate the province's
Elder Abuse Strategy.
    "Victims of elder abuse often feel isolated and may not be aware of the
services available to them," said Attorney General Michael Bryant. "Our goal
is to ensure that Ontario's agencies work together to end elder abuse at the
community level."
    According to experts in the field, elder abuse has many forms including
financial, physical and verbal abuse, and neglect of older persons.
    ONPEA estimates that between 65,000 and 130,000 Ontario seniors suffer
some form of elder abuse.
    "We share a mutual concern with government that the abuse of seniors can
and must be prevented," said Bill Ryan, ONPEA Chair. "We're pleased they are
working with us to help improve the quality of life for Ontario seniors."
    Earlier this month, the McGuinty government announced grants totaling
$453,000 for 55 community organizations across the province to support local
service coordination and client intervention initiatives.
    "Seniors deserve to live in safety and with dignity," said Bradley. "They
have worked hard all their lives and should have access to the support and
services to which they are entitled."
    Other McGuinty government initiatives to support Ontario's aging
population include:

    -   Expanding the award-winning website to provide
        one-stop access to programs and services for seniors living in
        smaller municipalities across the province

    -   Enhancing the Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits for seniors once
        again in 2007; this will result in $97 million in property tax relief
        this year for eligible seniors

    -   Ending mandatory retirement

    -   Implementing Ontario's Wait-Time Strategy that has resulted in a
        41 per cent reduction in wait times for cataract surgery; a 30 per
        cent reduction for knee replacements; and a 16 per cent reduction for
        cancer surgery.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

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

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