New funding will strengthen elder abuse prevention and intervention across the province.
Alberta’s government is providing $750,000 over two years to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council, to provide one-time funding to the province’s 31 eligible coordinated community responses (CCRs) to elder abuse. CCRs are multidisciplinary partnerships that can include a range of partners such as local governments, non-profit organizations, businesses, health service providers and police services.
The funding will be used to increase supports for seniors affected by elder abuse, explore a consistent approach to data collection and enhance the skills of responders.
“Elder abuse is a complex issue that requires community solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a stronger response to prevent and address elder abuse. With the help of the council, these funds will get right to the organizations and service providers who are leading this important work in their communities.”
Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing
“These funds will allow us to increase the capacity of organizations to address elder abuse at the local level. We are excited to be able to support direct services for seniors experiencing elder abuse by building on the great work already being done in the community.”
Shantel Ottenbreit, chair, Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council
“COVID-19 has decreased in-home supports and increased social isolation. As a result, we are seeing an increase in cases in Calgary. Because elder abuse is often committed by a person in a position of trust, these situations require specialized skills to navigate the personal, social, economic, family and cultural factors. This funding will allow communities to offer case management services with workers who have the skills required to support older adults experiencing elder abuse.”
Lisa Stebbins, director of multigenerational wellness in community, carya
“Effectively addressing elder abuse in rural Alberta must come from a community approach. Supporting coordinated community response models through funding is imperative to the success of CCRs in providing effective and timely services to older adults experiencing abuse in our province.”
Charlene Sitar, regional elder abuse prevention coordinator, Town of Hinton
The council will design and deliver a funding program to eligible CCRs, with an aim to:
- improve seniors’ access to help navigating available supports
- explore best practices for data collection
- increase regional collaboration between CCRs
- ensure the sustainability of CCR programs and services
Funding will also enable the council to provide enhanced elder abuse awareness training for service providers and responders.
Details about program eligibility and the application process will be available through the council’s website at albertaelderabuse.ca.
Additional work on elder abuse is underway. This year, the province will work with stakeholders and the public to establish a consistent definition of elder abuse, explore more formalized data collection and information-sharing practices, and improve coordination across programs and service. Consideration is also being given to the potential role of provincial elder abuse legislation.
Alberta’s government continues to work closely with the federal government to support priorities related to elder abuse nationally.