Incidents of Elder Abuse Skyrocket as Census Shows Canadians Now Older Than Ever
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day serves as stark reminder that, too often, seniors’ basic human rights are ignored.
A coalition of Canada’s leading organizations advocating on seniors’ issues are teaming up to host a national virtual event on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15th), bringing together politicians, thought experts and members of the public to discuss the rising rates of elder abuse in our country. Incidents of elder abuse skyrocketed by an estimated 250% during the first year of the pandemic in Ontario alone, with the vast majority of cases going unreported. Studies also show that 1 in 2 people are prejudiced against older people and 1 in 5 Canadians think seniors are a burden on society. Given that recent census data shows people aged 85+ are one of the fastest-growing age groups, with a 12% increase from 2016, tackling the deeply-rooted societal perceptions of seniors’ human rights is critical to Canada’s future.
“Elder abuse is a covert crisis in Canada, with the vast majority of cases going unreported–and it’s only getting worse” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. “Everyone has a role to play in taking a stand for seniors’ rights, and that’s what we’re asking people and governments to do on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.”
In response to this “covert crisis” CanAge (Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization), the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA), Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario (EAPO) and the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN) are inviting all Canadians to take the pledge to become a champion of elder abuse prevention. At the June 15th national virtual event, government officials from across the country will be asked to commit to taking specific actions to protect the rights of seniors within their jurisdictions. These actions are taken from Future Us: A Roadmap to Elder Abuse Prevention: a community engagement strategy recently published by CNPEA in March 2022.
“Ignoring ageism and elder abuse is not an option anymore.” says Bénédicte Schoepflin, Executive Director of CNPEA. “It will take citizens, advocates, professionals and leaders in communities and governments to help us to prevent violence and abuse of older people in their homes and communities. It is our hope that Future Us, our roadmap to Elder Abuse prevention, can guide the way. For World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we’re asking each and everyone of you, including our elected leaders, to stand up for seniors’ rights. For today’s older Canadians and for our future selves.”
The virtual event on June 15th is free to attend and open to all. Registration is open now, with limited availability. Special guests include Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Seniors Darren Fisher, and provincial/territorial ministers.
For more information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, visit WEAAD.ca.
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th
- Elder abuse is on the rise in Canada, with many cases going unreported
- 1 in 2 people are prejudiced against older people
- 1 in 5 Canadians say seniors are a burden on society
- CanAge, Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and BC Association of Community Response Networks are hosting a free virtual event on June 15th. Media are encouraged to attend.
- Various politicians will be in attendance, including Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Seniors Darren Fisher, and provincial/territorial ministers
- Canadians are being asked to take a pledge to protect the rights of seniors in their communities.
CanAge is Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization, working to improve the lives of older adults through advocacy, policy, and community engagement. We are a non-partisan, non-profit organization and backed by a broad pan-Canadian membership base. Find out more.
CNPEA is a pan Canadian network whose mission is to connect people and organizations, foster the exchange of reliable information, and advance program and policy development on issues related to preventing the abuse of older adults.
Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario (EAPO) is a provincial organization dedicated to promoting elder abuse prevention through educational awareness raising forums, delivering training, developing resources and providing information to support older adults at-risk or experiencing abuse. EAPO works collaboratively with partner agencies and service providers to build capacity to respond to elder abuse in the community.
About BC CRN
The BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN) is a provincial umbrella organization that supports local community response networks who in turn work to create a strong community response for adults who may be experiencing or be impacted by abuse, neglect and self-neglect.