NEW YORK, June 14, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), was a keynote speaker today at a special event held at the United Nations headquarters to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is on June 15. Minister of State Wong spoke about the measures that Canada has taken to combat elder abuse, as well as the importance of raising awareness about the issue.
"Our Government is committed to standing up for victims of elder abuse," said Minister of State Wong. "In support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we are pleased to recognize the work being done to raise awareness of elder abuse and help enable seniors protect themselves from its many forms, including financial abuse."
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings attention to the abuse and neglect that some older adults experience and how abuse can be prevented. The governments of Canada and the United States partnered with the United Nations to jointly host the recognition event, which consisted of two sessions. An international perspectives session included speakers from the United States, Canada, the European Union and Malawi. It was followed by a non-government organization discussion and networking session.
The Government of Canada helps to address elder abuse through awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) and legislation. The NHSP provides funding for projects that raise awareness about elder abuse and create resources to help seniors protect themselves. In January 2013, the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act was adopted, ensuring stronger penalties for offences involving the abuse of elderly people. Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government proposes to better safeguard the well-being of seniors in a variety of areas, including financial services, financial literacy and health.
Elder abuse is a hidden crime that can take many forms, including physical, financial or emotional. In Canada, it has been estimated that between 4 and 10 percent of seniors experience some form of abuse, and that only one in five cases of abuse is reported.
Read the Minister's statement here
Visit seniors.gc.ca for information on the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, as well as resources for preventative action.