Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 10, 2009 13:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Project in Edmonton to Combat Elder Abuse

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2009) - The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors),along with Mr. Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, today highlighted federal support to the Alberta Council on Aging under the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Minister LeBreton highlighted close to $290,000 in funding for the Alberta Council on Aging's project, Preventing Elder Abuse through Education, which will raise awareness of the abuse of older adults in Alberta.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the well-being of seniors and to combating elder abuse in all its forms, from physical abuse to financial and emotional abuse," said Minister LeBreton. "As a society, we need to acknowledge that this problem exists and that we-all of us-must play a role in solving it."

"Seniors have committed so much to building this country, and they deserve to live with dignity and respect," said Mr. Hawn. "The work of the Alberta Council on Aging will be a valuable contribution."

Preventing Elder Abuse through Education will focus on reducing the incidence of financial elder abuse by providing educational and awareness-raising tools and resources to Alberta seniors, service providers and the general public, including:

- a financial anti-fraud handbook that will explain how to prevent various aspects and forms of financial fraud, including Internet and email scams, power of attorney fraud, home improvement scams and identity theft;

- a financial anti-fraud DVD that will include a talk on financial fraud, case scenarios and dramatizations of real-life situations;

- a service providers' resource manual that will inform service providers how to detect signs of financial elder abuse from the first point of contact and where to direct victims for help. It will also include information on how to report elder abuse and will provide regional and provincial resources; and

- a culturally sensitive training manual on elder abuse.

Public presentations will be held across the province to promote the resources.

The investment highlighted today falls under the Elder Abuse Awareness component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which provides funding to non-profit organizations to develop national, provincial/territorial or regional awareness activities for seniors, their families and service providers in order to help prevent the abuse of older adults.

Announced in February 2009, this project is one of the 16 projects across Canada that received a total of over $4 million in funding under the Program's Elder Abuse Awareness component.

The Government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to seniors and to combating elder abuse in all its forms. Budget 2008 announced an investment of $13 million over three years to increase awareness of issues surrounding elder abuse, and to provide seniors with assistance in dealing with it.

As part of this investment, a national advertising campaign, Elder Abuse - It's Time To Face The Reality (http://www.seniors.gc.ca/c.4nt.2nt3col@.jsp?cid=161), was developed to create awareness of elder abuse and its many forms: physical, financial, psychological and sexual. The campaign includes television, Internet and print advertisements. It ran for two weeks this summer and will run again this fall.

In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government made a clear commitment to protect Canadians, including seniors, in difficult times by implementing several key measures:

- Increasing the Age Credit by $1,000 for 2009 and beyond to allow eligible seniors to receive up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings.

- Providing seniors with $200 million in tax relief by reducing the required minimum withdrawal amount for 2008 from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 percent, in recognition of the impact of the deterioration in market conditions on retirement savings.

- Helping older workers and their families through these tough economic times by investing an additional $60 million over three years in the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, and by expanding the number of eligible communities to include older workers in small cities.

- Providing $400 million over two years, through the Affordable Housing Initiative, for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors.

- Establishing an independent Task Force to make recommendations on a cohesive national strategy on financial literacy for Canadians.


BACKGROUNDER

New Horizons for Seniors Program

Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps ensure that seniors are able to actively contribute to and benefit from the quality of life in their communities.

Building on the success of the NHSP, in Budget 2007, the Government of Canada increased the Program's budget by $10 million per year to provide capital assistance for repairs to facilities and equipment related to existing seniors' programs, and to raise awareness of elder abuse across Canada. This brings the total budget for the NHSP to $35 million per year.

The Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

1. Community Participation and Leadership funding (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding supports community-based projects across Canada. The projects encourage seniors to continue to play an important role in their communities by helping those in need, providing leadership, and sharing their knowledge and skills with others.

2. Capital Assistance funding (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding helps non-profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors' programs and activities. It enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.

3. Elder Abuse Awareness funding (up to $250,000 in funding annually over a maximum of three years): this funding helps non-profit organizations and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults on a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse will be available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Office of Minister LeBreton
    Rebecca Murphy
    Senior Policy Advisor
    613-943-0756
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559