Submitted by the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association (CHNA)
According to the University of Ottawa, approximately 98,000 seniors in private dwellings have already suffered a form of elder abuse. Sadly, that number is growing as our population ages. By 2031, Statistics Canada predicts that eight million Canadians will be over the age of 65. In Ottawa, that means one in every four residents.
As sons, daughters, friends and neighbours, we have a responsibility to protect our seniors. We have a duty to know about the signs and forms of elder abuse – and how to help.
Elder abuse is the result of an individual having power or control over a senior, and using that power in a negative way.
Abusers, unfortunately, can be family members. But we’ve also heard of those investment deals that are too good to be true from a salesman or of neglect happening at the hands of a supposed caregiver.
What most people don’t know though, is that any form of elder abuse is a crime – whether it is because of neglect, emotional, financial or physical abuse.
The federal government has indicated that one in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who might be experiencing some form of abuse. Many though, are unsure of what steps to take, including seniors who are being affected.
That’s why the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association (CHNA) is hosting an information session, to inform residents about elder abuse, what to look out for, and how to help prevent it.
The guest presenters will be Constable Dawn Neilly-Sylvestre of the Ottawa Police Service and Alison Timmons, Elder Abuse Response and Referral Services Coordinator of the Nepean Rideau Osgoode Community Resource Centre.
Here in Ottawa, there are many resources available, including from the Ottawa Police Service who offers a non-emergency help line at 613-236-1222, extension 2400.
As always, whenever there is an emergency, call 911 immediately.
This free information session hosted by CHNA is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre in the Wellington Room. All are welcome. For more information, visit www.chnaottawa.ca.