Summer is in full swing now and we, our families and friends are likely out and about, enjoying the warm weather. But with all these activities and busy schedules, we may be forgetting the seniors in our lives, leaving them isolated or alone. Elder abuse is a significant social injustice in all our communities. In fact, data suggests that over 200,000 older adults in Ontario alone are at- risk or experiencing abuse.

How can we help keep seniors safe this summer? Continue reading to learn how you can help!

1. Include seniors in activities

Seniors often feel isolated or secluded. In fact, elder neglect is a common form of abuse that whether deliberate or unintentional, fails to address the need for caring for a senior. During COVID-19 many seniors reported feeling isolated and neglected, being forced into lockdowns and imposed isolations. Now with public health restrictions being less stringent, consider including seniors in your summer plans as a great way to keep everyone engaged and active. A simple 30-minute walk, a trip to the local museum, or even enjoying brunch on a patio together can help make seniors feel less isolated.

2. Become an active listener

Regular check-ins and staying connected with the older adults in your life is important.  A regular phone call or visit is an excellent opportunity to stay connected.  If you suspect someone is a victim of elder abuse, engaging in conversation could help them to open up about their troubles. Victims of elder abuse are often afraid to voice their concerns. Becoming an active listener will allow seniors to open up to you more quickly. If you are experiencing elder abuse, speaking with someone you can trust can significantly increase the chances of getting the help you need. Remember that everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

3. Learn to recognize and identify the signs

There are a number of reasons why elder abuse is seldom reported. The main reason – people, including victims, often fail to recognize the warning signs. Elder abuse encompasses financial, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. By learning about the different types and signs of each type of elder abuse, we can ALL call out these injustices, that may be happening.

Learn more about the different types of elder abuse by clicking here.

Want to learn even more about Elder Abuse Prevention and how you can help?

The EAPO website includes a wealth of helpful resources for anyone interested in learning more about this ongoing and complex issue. We encourage you to view and download EAPO fact sheets or watch the many previous webinars hosted on the site. Visit our site often, to keep updated about upcoming webinars, sign up for our newsletters to receive current information and resources on elder abuse programs and services.

Empower yourself with this knowledge, so that together we can create a safer tomorrow for seniors in Ontario!