2021 has been a year like no other for Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario (EAPO). Throughout this pandemic, the organization continued to step up in all aspects of service, raising awareness about elder abuse prevention and supporting those in need. With a new brand and website launch, EAPO is ready to take on what comes in 2022. Marta Hajek, EAPO Executive Director, recently shared some thoughts about the organization’s impact and planned future directions.

EAPO accomplished a lot during 2021; which accomplishment stands out the most?

Only through the unrelenting efforts and dedication of our modest staff complement can we now share with our readers some of the key accomplishments from the past fiscal year! 

We hosted over 1,000 events: from public awareness education sessions to training front-line service professionals. As a result, our outreach to the community has increased four-fold from pre-COVID times. 

As our community engagement grows, our message is also spreading: Elder Abuse is NOT RIGHT, and all seniors have the right to be safe and respected.

What motivates the EAPO team to continue delivering excellent service?

The past few years have been tough, no doubt. The unrelenting global pandemic has only exacerbated the complexity of issues EAPO deals with each day.

While many, it seems, are losing track of time these days, our mission is even more time-sensitive! Our team continues to surpass expectations in addressing the needs of those impacted by abuse and neglect. We must do all we can to prevent elder abuse.

Share something new that you learned in 2021

The past year has taught us about resilience and staying the course. We will draw on the lessons learned to map new paths and reshape our approaches. As a result, EAPO is ready to meet the world head-on and with resolve to stop the abuse and restore respect. 

And while the past year has not been without personal losses, we are hopeful and inspired by the collaborative spirit of our community partners in building a better world, despite what Mother Nature hurls our way.

What can we expect from EAPO in 2022?

EAPO has implemented new and promising approaches to our service delivery model throughout the isolation and lockdowns. We have learned to use technology better and adapt our creative skills. 

In 2022, expect EAPO to deliver enhanced webinars, workshops, presentations, materials, and increased community outreach to support the public. In addition, we are excited about offering virtual conferences and knowledge exchange days with other Elder Abuse Networks. Whatever we learn, we share with others. It is our contribution to the community.

Inevitably, with a new year’s start, there comes a desire to start things fresh. To reflect the growing demands on EAPO, we are restructuring; from optimizing in-house capacity to reshaping our governance. Changes are never easy, but they are driven by the compassion and dedication shared by all who understand the importance of doing our absolute best to assist seniors.

Lastly, we look forward to continued collaborations with new and old partners. We will reinvent ourselves to leverage our strengths and expertise to improve the lives of seniors. 

EAPO is up to the challenge, and we encourage you to follow and support our work in 2022 and beyond!