New Resource Addresses Elder Abuse
Grey Bruce Elder Abuse Prevention (GBEAP) – a subcommittee of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce – has launched a poster and educational campaign about elder abuse and resources in Grey and Bruce counties. The campaign features a poster resource of local resources for seniors as well as educational presentations.
Supported with a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce, the campaign was postponed by the pandemic in 2020 and will roll out between January and March 2021 instead.
“We wanted to create a resource that would be accessible for seniors”, said Jon Farmer, coordinator of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce. “The posters come in two sizes and with a large font so that folks with limited vision can read them. We can send them out to any organization or individual who asks for them. Originally, we planned to offer in person educational sessions to community groups but the pandemic makes that impossible. Instead we’ll be offering online and teleconference sessions so that people can learn more about the issue and where to access help in Grey Bruce”.
Elder abuse can include physical violence, physiological or emotional abuse, financial abuse, or neglect and abandonment. Isolation is a risk factor for elder abuse. The risk of seniors being exploited or falling victim to scams is higher now that community programs are closed and social visiting is discouraged. GBEAP reports that calls to the provincial Seniors Safety Line have risen 300% during the pandemic.
“We’ve heard a lot in the news about the impact the pandemic is having on seniors in long term care and seniors’ vulnerability to the virus itself but we also need to increase community conversations about the increased risk of elder abuse and how to recognize the signs and symptoms. We need people to know what the risk factors are and how to access services so that seniors are better supported by their loved ones as well as better prepared to protect themselves”.
Farmer added that the committee hopes to distribute posters to community gathering spaces across Grey and Bruce counties. Interested individuals and organizations can request copies of the resource poster and learn more about public presentation dates at violencepreventiongreybruce.com or by emailing email@example.com. The poster is available in 8.5X11 and 11X17 formats. Private presentations can also be booked between January and March. Recordings of some presentations will be made available on Violence Prevention’s website and social media pages.
To learn more about elder abuse, visit Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario at eapon.ca. Call the Seniors Safety Line at 1-866-299-1011 if you are a senior experiencing abuse, and call 911 if you are in immediate danger.