**** CNS Media Release
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a Time to Reach Out
Older Nova Scotians helped build this province and continue to make great contributions to our communities. However, older people may be more vulnerable to abuse, particularly as people are staying home due to COVID-19.
Today, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a time to remind all Nova Scotians to stay connected with older people.
“Now more than ever it’s important to reach out, to listen and to appreciate our loved ones who built the foundations we live on today,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Seniors. “Social distancing is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it can also make it more difficult to recognize abuse when it happens. Keeping in touch with each other can make a big difference.”
Elder abuse can take many forms, including financial, emotional, psychological, physical or sexual. Abuse can also come in the form of neglect – failing to provide the necessities of life such as food, clothing, safe shelter, medical attention or personal care.
Abuse of older adults is more common than many of us realize and often occurs within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust.
If people think they or someone they know is experiencing abuse or having difficulties, help is available. They can call 211 or reach out to the seniors’ safety program in their area for advice and information.
“The abuse of older adults is a real and serious issue in our communities. All Nova Scotians deserve to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.”
– Michelle Parker, Kings County seniors’ safety co-ordinator
“Abuse thrives in silence and isolation. We don’t always recognize that our actions and behaviours may be causing harm or allowing it to happen. It is important that we reflect on our own attitudes and assumptions about growing older that may be negatively impacting the well-being of older people.”
– Sharon Elliott, Annapolis County seniors’ safety co-ordinator
— according to the World Health Organization, it’s estimated that one in six older adults worldwide experiences elder abuse, often by someone they know and trust
— World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue
For contact information for the seniors’ safety program in your area, please visit: https://novascotia.ca/seniors/senior_Safety_Programs.asp
The Department of Seniors’ booklet, Understanding Senior Abuse, is available at https://novascotia.ca/seniors/stopabuse/ . To receive a printed copy of the booklet, call 1-844-277-0770
Updates on SHIFT, Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population, are at: https://novascotia.ca/shift/