June 14, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message was issued by Minister of State for Seniors Cheryl Lavoie on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Tuesday, June 15:
No one likes to think about elder abuse taking place in our society. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life for five to 10 per cent of seniors in Canada and has the potential to become an even greater issue as our population ages.
Already elder abuse resonates in the news and in public awareness campaigns. We hear about theft, fraud, telephone and investment scams; violence at the hands of loved ones; emotional abuse; neglect; and abandonment. All forms of abuse against our seniors are a terrible wrong that must stop.
I encourage all persons to recognize and report elder abuse. It may happen at home, in the community or in a residential facility. It is often committed by a family member, friend, neighbour, caregiver, an individual in a position of power, trust or authority or by a stranger on the telephone.
Elder abuse is a tragedy we can all work to prevent. Help is available through the Department of Social Development and the police. If you have concerns about remaining anonymous, Crime Stoppers can be an alternate solution. The Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Securities Commission also have information about elder abuse.
Our seniors built our province and they enrich our lives. We should do all we can to make sure they are safe and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Do not let elder abuse happen to a senior whom you know and love.
MEDIA CONTACT: Judy Cole, communications, Senior and Healthy Aging Secretariat, 506-444-3522.