The Grenville County OPP, along with Victim Services of Leeds and Grenville and Kemptville and District Home support, will be putting on a seminar next month about elder abuse.

Elder abuse is defined by the World Health Organization as, “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.” It often occurs where there is an imbalance of power and can take the form of financial, physical or emotional abuse. According to Elder Abuse Canada, there are 40,000 to 200,000 seniors living in Ontario who have experienced some sort of elder abuse.

“It is usually family members who abuse seniors,” says Amanda Fraser, the program coordinator for Victim Services of Leeds and Grenville. “It is a serious and growing problem that needs to be addressed by the community.” According to census data, the number of adults over the age of 65 in Ontario is expected to double by 2036. If this issue is not addressed, it is estimated that 84,000 to 420,000 seniors could be affected in the future.

The purpose of the seminar is to educate seniors and the people who support them about elder abuse, how to spot it and what to do about it. “We want to make seniors aware of the tools that are out there for them,” Amanda says.

Amanda stressed it is also important to reach out to local organizations and businesses that deal with the elderly on a regular basis (banks, hairdressers etc.) so they can recognize the red flags. “People are starting the recognize it. But we need to push it even further.”

The seminar will take place on June 15 from 9:30 am-3 pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. Lunch will be provided and there will be several presentations on topics like ageism, elder abuse in the criminal justice system and theft, fraud and scams. “It’s a nice way to teach them how to recognize the signs,” Amanda added. “We want to make an already vulnerable population less vulnerable.”

To register or arrange for transportation to and from the seminar, call Amanda at 613-925-0155 or email [email protected].

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