Government Initiatives

Elder Abuse Awareness Raising Video Launch
posted by Administrator on FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013   |     0   Comments
 

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  In support of this important day, the Government of Alberta, in partnership with the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network, has produced the first in a series of videos to raise awareness of elder abuse and to let those affected know there is help available.

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by someone that jeopardizes the health or well-being of an older adult.  Elder abuse can take several forms including: financial, emotional, physical, sexual, neglect and medication. This first video focuses on examples of neglect (social isolation), financial, and medication abuse and informs viewers where to go for help

The video can be viewed HERE

 
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Legislation Protecting Canadas Seniors Comes into Force
posted by Administrator on TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2013   |     0   Comments
 

ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 14, 2013) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Alice Wong, M.P. for Richmond and Minister of State (Seniors), welcomed yesterdays coming into force of the Protecting Canadas Seniors Act.

"Our Government is ensuring that crimes against our elderly are punished appropriately," said Minister Nicholson. "Elder abuse is disgraceful and appalling; the Protecting Canadas Seniors Act will ensure tougher sentences for those who take advantage of these vulnerable members of our society."

"This legislation further supports our Governments existing action to eliminate elder abuse in all forms," said Minister Wong. "Elder abuse will not be tolerated. Our Government continues to ensure that Canadians are made aware of this serious issue and that they have the necessary information and supports for preventative action."

The Protecting Canadas Seniors Act better protects seniors by ensuring tougher sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Under the amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age - and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation - will now be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

The Government addresses elder abuse in a number of ways, including its elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program. In 2011, the Government increased its investment in this program, which includes projects to increase elder abuse awareness, by $5 million per year, bringing its annual budget to $45 million.

More information about elder abuse can be found at www.seniors.gc.ca.

An online version of the Protecting Canadas Seniors Act is available here.

Internet: www.canada.justice.gc.ca

 
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Legislation to Better Protect Canadas Seniors Passes in the House of Commons
posted by Admin on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012   |     0   Comments
 

 

OTTAWA, November 6, 2012 – Today, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Honourable Alice Wong, M.P. for Richmond and Minister of State (Seniors), welcomed the passing in the House of Commons of Bill C-36, the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act. The legislation aims to better protect seniors by helping ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Bill C-36 will now move to the Senate.

"I am pleased that the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act passed in the House of Commons today, and encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support this important piece of legislation aimed at protecting our seniors," said Minister Nicholson. "Crimes against our most vulnerable citizens should not be tolerated, and this Bill ensures that perpetrators would be punished appropriately."

"Our government is committed to ensuring the well-being of Canadian seniors and we remain dedicated to ending elder abuse in all its forms," said Minister Wong. "The passing of this important legislation further supports on-going action by our Government to combat elder abuse."

Under the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age - and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation - would be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

The amendments would ensure a consistent application of sentencing practices that treat the abuse against individuals who are vulnerable due to their age and other personal circumstances.

The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act was introduced on March 15, 2012.

The Government addresses elder abuse in a number of ways, including its elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes projects to increase awareness. In 2011, the Government increased its investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program by $5 million per year, bringing the program's annual budget to $45 million.

More information about elder abuse can be found at www.seniors.gc.ca.

Backgrounder: Elder Abuse Legislation

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Ref.:

Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

 
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Government of Canada raises awareness about financial exploitation of seniors
posted by Carol Ching on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2010   |     1   Comment
 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, October 4, 2010—The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), emphasized that financial abuse is a real problem affecting seniors, as she marked the beginning of the second phase of the Government’s Elder Abuse Awareness campaign.

The campaign, Elder Abuse – It’s Time to Face the Reality, is designed to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. The campaign will run from October to December and will focus on the issue of financial abuse.

“Any form of abuse is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It is important that all Canadians take the time to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “This year’s campaign focuses on financial exploitation of seniors and intends to provide Canadians with the information and encouragement they need to speak up and seek help.”

The awareness campaign is part of the three-year Federal Elder Abuse Awareness Initiative. Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories, professional associations and community organizations to take active measures to detect and prevent exploitation of older Canadians.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s commitments regarding seniors, including elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit seniors.gc.ca.

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Heather Hume
Communications Advisor
Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
613-960-8717

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
819-994-5559


Backgrounder


Recognizing the signs of financial abuse

Whether it is the illegal or unauthorized use of money or property, or pressure to change a will, financial abuse is a reality for many older Canadians.

To take action against financial exploitation, seniors can help protect themselves by:

  • keeping financial and personal information in a safe place;
  • asking someone trusted to look over contracts and other papers before signing them; and
  • getting independent legal advice before making major decisions regarding home or property or signing related documents, even when family is involved.

Financial abuse can be difficult to recognize. Signs may include:

  • unexplained changes in bank account information;
  • suspicious-looking signatures on cheques or documents;
  • unauthorized attempts to include additional names on a bank or other signature card; and
  • sudden drops in cash flow or financial holdings.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit seniors.gc.ca or contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). People using a teletypewriter (TTY), can call 1-800-926-9105.

 
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Alberta Government releases Addressing Elder Abuse in Alberta: A Strategy for Collective Action
posted by Carol Ching on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2010   |     2   Comments
 

November 16, 2010 the Alberta government released Addressing Elder Abuse in Alberta: A Strategy for Collective Action.

The Strategy aims to prevent and address elder abuse, by taking a comprehensive approach. The strategy is structured around four key goals

  • Improved awareness—Educate Albertans so they are aware of elder abuse, how to prevent and identify it and where to go for help.
  • Skilled service providers—Ensure Alberta’s service providers and caregivers have the knowledge and skills needed to effectively serve and support seniors and to help prevent, identify and address elder abuse appropriately.
  • Coordinated community responses—Work with Alberta communities so they have the capacity to partner to provide coordinated supports that prevent and respond to elder abuse, including effective intervention resources.
  • Protective laws and policies—Ensure Albertans have access to legal tools and other mechanisms that help protect seniors from abuse and fraud, effectively address situations of elder abuse, and uphold the rights of seniors.

A series of actions that support each goal are identified.  The roles and responsibilities of all sectors of society to successfully address and prevent elder abuse are also articulated.

The Strategy builds on the Government of Alberta’s existing and ongoing efforts in preventing family violence and bullying, and on the policy directions set out in the Aging Population Policy Framework.  The Framework, which was released November 8, provides the overall context and approaches the Government of Alberta will be taking to meet the needs of an aging population.

Additional information are available on the Alberta Seniors and Community Supports website at www.seniors.alberta.ca/Protection.

 

 
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Government of Canada working to protect seniors from elder abuse
posted by Carol Ching on TUESDAY, MARCH 02, 2010   |     1   Comment
 

CALGARY, ALBERTA, February 11, 2010—To raise awareness of the abuse of older adults in Canada, the Government of Canada has approved funding for 16 projects through the Elder Abuse Awareness component of its New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), made the announcement today in Calgary on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

“Our government is protecting seniors by fighting elder abuse in all its forms, from physical abuse to financial and emotional abuse,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “These projects will support programs and activities across Canada that increase awareness of elder abuse while improving quality of life, as well as safety and security, for seniors.”

Today’s announcement represents an investment of more than $1.5 million to prevent abuse against older adults across the country.

“Our government takes the fight against elder abuse very seriously,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “We want everyone to know that it cannot and will not be tolerated, and that help is available. Seniors deserve to live with dignity and respect, and we as a government are committed to help ensure that their quality of life is not diminished by abuse of any kind.”

The announcement was made at the office of the Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens’ Association, which received funding for its project called Hidden in the Cultural Fabric – Elder Abuse and Neglect in Ethno-cultural Communities in Alberta. This project will help older ethno-cultural Albertans increase their knowledge and understanding of elder abuse and neglect to develop their own solutions to the issues that impact them the most.

“In Alberta, there has been very little study on elder abuse in ethno-cultural communities,” said Dr. Daniel W. L. Lai, Professor and Associate Dean (Research and Partnerships), Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. “This project will be the first study undertaken which specifically explores and encompasses the needs of ethno-cultural older adults related to elder abuse and neglect.”

The projects announced today fall under the Elder Abuse Awareness component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which supports national and regional projects. With the two other components of the New Horizons for Seniors Program—Community Participation and Leadership and Capital Assistance—the overall budget of the Program is now $35 million per year.

Since its beginning, the New Horizons for Seniors Program has funded over 5,500 projects across Canada, helping seniors to use their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities. For more information about the Program, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/seniors.

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559


Backgrounder


New Horizons for Seniors Program

Across Canada, the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) helps to ensure that seniors are able to actively contribute to and benefit from the quality of life in their communities. The total budget for the NHSP is $35 million per year.

The Program offers three types of funding to organizations:

  1. Community Participation and Leadership funding (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding supports community-based projects across Canada. The projects encourage seniors to continue to play an important role in their communities by helping those in need, providing leadership, and sharing their knowledge and skills with others.
  1. Capital Assistance funding (up to $25,000 in funding): this funding helps non?profit organizations that need to upgrade facilities or equipment used for existing seniors’ programs and activities. It enables seniors to continue to lead active lives by participating in existing programs and activities in their communities.
  1. Elder Abuse Awareness funding (up to $250,000 in funding annually over a maximum of three years): this funding helps non-profit organizations and coalitions raise awareness of the abuse of older adults on a national or regional level. Through this funding, new educational and awareness resources about elder abuse will be available to improve quality of life, safety and security for seniors.
 
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Government of Canada launches Elder Abuse Awareness Campaign
posted by Carol Ching on THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2009   |     4   Comments
 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, June 15, 2009— The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors), today announced the launch of a national awareness campaign on elder abuse, as well as a Federal Elder Abuse Initiative call for proposals. Coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the announcement of these initiatives builds upon the Government of Canada’s work to improve the lives of seniors.

“Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse, and it’s happening in communities across Canada,” said Minister Finley. “This national advertising campaign and call for proposals highlight our government’s commitment to raising awareness as a means of combating the abuse of older adults.”

According to recent Government of Canada public opinion research on elder abuse, 96 percent of Canadians think most of the abuse experienced by older adults is hidden or goes undetected. It is estimated that between four and 10 percent of seniors – about 345,000 older people – in Canada experience some kind of abuse.

“As a society that honours its seniors, we cannot and must not tolerate elder abuse,” said Minister LeBreton. “That is why our government is collaborating with provinces and territories, professional associations and non-governmental organizations to combat elder abuse and ensure that the quality of life of seniors is not diminished by abuse of any kind.”

 The national advertising campaign, entitled Elder Abuse – It’s Time To Face The Reality, focuses  on creating awareness of elder abuse and its many forms: physical, financial, psychological and sexual. The campaign includes television, Internet and print advertisements. The campaign will run from June 15, 2009 until early July and again later this year. For more information on the campaign, and to view the television advertisement visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

The call for proposals under the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative will be open from June 15, 2009 to July 24, 2009. The call invites professional associations to apply for funding to adapt, customize and disseminate elder abuse materials for use throughout their organizations. Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the call for proposals will fund up to 10 national and Quebec professional associations. The maximum funding is $200,000 per project, over 24 months. To learn more about the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative call for proposals or to apply for funding, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

 
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New law supports independence for Albertans who need help making decisions
posted by Carol Ching on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2008   |     0   Comments
 
December 18, 2008
New law supports independence for Albertans who need help making decisions

New provincial legislation will help ensure adult Albertans who require assistance making personal decisions can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA), or Bill 24, will provide Albertans with more choices and safeguards to protect adults who can no longer make all of their decisions.

“I believe this legislation will benefit many Albertans who need help making decisions as it reflects a more modern understanding of mental capacity, including different levels of decision-making ability,” said Mary Anne Jablonski, Minister of Seniors and Community Supports. “Bill 24 focuses on a least-intrusive approach to respecting an Albertan’s right to make decisions while maintaining their dignity in the process.”

The AGTA replaces the 30-year-old Dependent Adults Act, which was reviewed with the Personal Directives Act. Completed in January 2007, the review included questionnaires, public meetings, stakeholder sessions and consultations with more than 4,300 Albertans. Feedback was collected from doctors, lawyers, advocacy groups, health providers, private guardians, long-term care providers and the public. Extensive research was also conducted, including guardian and trustee approaches used in other jurisdictions.

Highlights of the AGTA include:

  • increasing the number of choices available to people who need assistance to make decisions, including allowing a competent adult to name a supporter who can assist in decision making, communicate decisions and access the supported adult’s personal information; 
  • introducing a new process to screen potential co-decision makers, trustees and guardians;
  • enabling the Office of the Public Guardian and the Office of the Public Trustee to investigate complaints about co-decision makers, trustees and guardians; and
  • standardizing the process to assess an individual’s capacity to make decisions.

The Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act passed third reading by the Alberta Legislature on November 6 and received Royal Assent on December 2.

More information is available on the Alberta Seniors and Community Supports website at http://www.seniors.gov.ab.ca/Programs by clicking on Office of the Public Guardian in the “O” section, and then Guardianship for Dependent Adults in the left menu.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Sonia Maryn
Communications
Seniors and Community Supports
780-415-9950

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

 
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