Glen Abernethy: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Colleagues and visitors in the gallery are wearing purple to promote awareness for this important day.

Mr. Speaker, our work towards eliminating Elder abuse is done in partnership with the NWT Seniors Society and the NWT Network to Prevent Abuse of Older Adults. I would encourage all Members to read Creating Safe Communities for Older Adults: A Five Year Strategy for the Northwest Territories 2015-2020 prepared by the NWT Network to Prevent Abuse of Older Adults.

This Strategy focuses on four priorities and eight principles that all contribute to the elimination of Elder abuse. I look forward to following the Strategy as it takes shape over the next four years.

Mr. Speaker, Elder abuse can come in many forms including financial, emotional, physical, neglect and sexual abuse. Unfortunately these types of abuses are too common in our communities. The NWT Seniors Society Information Line data shows of the 152 calls they responded to in 2015-2016, three were related to senior safety and 21 calls were related to Elder abuse.

Elders have the right to be safe and healthy in their own homes and communities. They also have the right to make decisions about their money, belongings and the care they would like to receive.

We have been working with the NWT Seniors Society to develop screening tools to detect situations of abuse of older adults.   Over the coming months we will be piloting the use of these tools in our programs, as a concrete action toward supporting improved detection of situations of abuse by front line providers.

If you are an Elder who is being abused, talk with a trusted friend or family member. If you know an older person who is being abused, ask privately if you can help. Help is also available from the RCMP, and other professionals in your community.

Mr. Speaker I would encourage anyone who witnesses Elder abuse to call the 

Family Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-7775 or the Seniors’ Information Line at 1-800-661-0878.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.