Calgary, AB,

Calgarians join together on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today, Calgarians participated in a public rally at Olympic Plaza to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This yearly event helps raise awareness of elder abuse and encourages people to learn how to spot the signs.

Elder abuse affects an estimated 9,000 seniors in Calgary alone and includes emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse, as well as instances of neglect.

“There is a need for increased awareness, education and training to ensure both the prevention and response to elder abuse in our city,” says Lisa Stebbins, managing director, Older Adult Services at Carya. “Elder abuse is often a hidden secret and many cases go unreported.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day happens every year on June 15, and is recognized by lighting the Calgary Tower purple, wearing purple and holding large and small events to raise awareness. This year, the rally includes speakers from Calgary seniors’ organizations, senior serving groups, a neighbourhood walk and speeches from members of government.

“Every older person has the right to participate fully in our society and the right to feel safe and live free of fear of abuse,” said Deputy Mayor Ward Sutherland. “The City of Calgary is committed to the reduction and elimination of elder abuse. We are working towards that through our Age-Friendly Calgary initiative, through our work with the Calgary Police Service and through our work with seniors’ advocates and community members.”

Calgary’s annual Elder Abuse Awareness Rally is a collaboration between Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens’ Association, Calgary Police Service, Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society, Carya, City of Calgary, Immigrant Services Calgary, Jewish Family Service Calgary, and Kerby Centre.

Quick Facts

• Statistically, 9,000 seniors are affected by elder abuse in Calgary.

• It’s estimated that 80 per cent of elder abuse goes unreported.

• Elder abuse can be physical, financial, emotional or sexual. It can be subtle or obvious, hidden or denied, and continues to be a complex social issue.

• Psychological abuse and financial abuse are the two most common types of abuse.

• Adult children or grandchildren are responsible for 37 per cent of financial abuse. 10 per cent of financial abuse is committed by a stranger.

• Calgary’s community response to elder abuse involves more than 20 agencies and organizations.

• For further information on elder abuse or to report a suspected case, please call the Elder Abuse Resource Line at 403-705-3250.

• More than three-quarters of a million, 8.2 per cent or 766,247, older Canadians suffered from some form of abuse in 2015.