Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

June 15, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Launches Elder Abuse Awareness Campaign

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), today announced the launch of a national awareness campaign on elder abuse, as well as a Federal Elder Abuse Initiative call for proposals. Coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the announcement of these initiatives builds upon the Government of Canada's work to improve the lives of seniors.

"Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse, and it's happening in communities across Canada," said Minister Finley. "This national advertising campaign and call for proposals highlight our government's commitment to raising awareness as a means of combating the abuse of older adults."

According to recent Government of Canada public opinion research on elder abuse, 96 percent of Canadians think most of the abuse experienced by older adults is hidden or goes undetected. It is estimated that between four and 10 percent of seniors - about 345,000 older people - in Canada experience some kind of abuse.

"As a society that honours its seniors, we cannot and must not tolerate elder abuse," said Minister LeBreton. "That is why our government is collaborating with provinces and territories, professional associations and non-governmental organizations to combat elder abuse and ensure that the quality of life of seniors is not diminished by abuse of any kind."

The national advertising campaign, entitled Elder Abuse - It's Time To Face The Reality, focuses on creating awareness of elder abuse and its many forms: physical, financial, psychological and sexual. The campaign includes television, Internet and print advertisements. The campaign will run from June 15, 2009 until early July and again later this year. For more information on the campaign, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

The call for proposals under the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative will be open from June 15, 2009 to July 24, 2009. The call invites professional associations to apply for funding to adapt, customize and disseminate elder abuse materials for use throughout their organizations. Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the call for proposals will fund up to 10 national and Quebec professional associations. The maximum funding is $200,000 per project, over 24 months. To learn more about the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative call for proposals or to apply for funding, visit www.seniors.gc.ca

See attached backgrounder for more information on the Government of Canada's elder abuse initiatives.

For information about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.



BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada Launches Elder Abuse Awareness Initiatives

The Government of Canada has demonstrated a strong commitment to seniors and to combating elder abuse in all its forms. In March 2007, the Government created the National Seniors Council (NSC) to assist in identifying areas for federal action. On October 16, 2007 the Speech from the Throne indicated that the Government would introduce new measures to address elder abuse as part of its commitment to a safe and secure Canada.

Budget 2008 announced $13 million over three years to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information on what support is available. The Government of Canada established the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI) to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information about support that is available. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) leads the development and coordination of the FEAI, in partnership with the Department of Justice Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

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

The first INPEA World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was held at the United Nations in New York in 2006. The INPEA is promoting a global recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2009 at the 19th annual International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) conference on July 5-9, 2009 in Paris, France.

Elder Abuse Defined

In 2002, the World Health Organization defined elder abuse as: "Single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person." Abuse can be physical, financial, psychological and sexual. Neglect may also be considered abuse.

Financial abuse is considered the most common form of abuse of older adults. Seniors who are dependent on others can be more vulnerable to abuse.

For more information on the Government of Canada's Elder Abuse initiatives visit seniors.gc.ca or contact 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). For people using a teletypewriter device (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.



BACKGROUNDER

Canada's Economic Action Plan

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.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482