This edition of the Elder Abuse E-Bulletin is on how social media networks can be used to support efforts to prevent the abuse of older adults. Social media uses web-based technology to provide information and increase awareness on various issues. It also can be used as a tool to encourage dialogue among front-line workers looking for support and professional guidance on how to prevent elder abuse.
The Elder Abuse E-Bulletin is an e-newsletter on addressing and preventing the abuse of older adults in Canada. It is produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as part of its role under the Government of Canada's Federal Elder Abuse Initiative (FEAI). The E-Bulletin uses the terms
“abuse of older adults”,
“elder abuse” and
“abuse of seniors” interchangeably throughout this edition.
For more information on the Government of Canada’s elder abuse initiatives, visit seniors.gc.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). For a teletypewriter device (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.
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A recent paper indentified that an increasing number of seniors are using the internet and different forms of social media. According to Social Media: 2. Who Uses Them? (PDF Document - 215 KB - 8 pages):
This trend suggests that there is an opportunity to rely more on internet and social media networks to raise awareness about elder abuse and existing support services.
Source: Social Media: 2. Who Uses Them? (PDF Document - 215 KB - 8 pages), Library of Parliament Background Paper
About Social Media
Social media networks give individuals and groups a forum where they can communicate, collaborate and share information. Different social media include:
They are useful in that they are often free-of-charge and are accessible across space and time.
A recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Division of Aging and Seniors on promising approaches in the elder abuse field found that there is a need for ongoing communication among front-line workers. Many service providers, particularly those who work with older adults in rural and remote communities, experience professional isolation. To lessen feelings of isolation, social media tools can be used to share information as well as provide support and professional guidance.
Social media networks related to elder abuse include:
Social media is a growing field which offers multiple opportunities for front-line workers and others who work in the area of elder abuse to better connect.
Content for this article provided by April Struthers, BC Association of Community Response Networks.
The Federal, Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Forum of Ministers Responsible for Seniors launched a series of eight fact sheets on financial planning and protection on June 15, 2010, in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD). To read or download the fact sheets visit: SeniorsBC.ca
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event: World Day… Five Years Later
June 15, 2010
The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, Province of Ontario, supported by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the International Federation on Ageing, hosted a one-day conference on elder abuse on June 15, 2010.
This event featured:
Manitoba Elder Abuse Strategy: Additional Component to its Safe Suite Program
Age and Opportunity Inc. received funding from the Government of Manitoba to secure an additional suite in the Safe Suite Program, as part of the province’s Elder Abuse Strategy. This program provides temporary housing for older adults who are fleeing abuse. Residents also receive counselling services, furnished accommodations for up to 60 days, a personal response program of a hospital, and practical assistance with arranging financial, legal, housing and support services.
The Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism received funding in the amount of $99,867, under the Elder Abuse Awareness component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program for its project entitled, Saskatchewan Senior Abuse Network. Through this project, the organization will develop a provincial intervention strategy and hold regular network roundtable meetings to coordinate efforts to reduce elder abuse in Saskatchewan.
Defining and Measuring Elder Abuse and Neglect - Preparatory Work Required to Measure the Prevalence of Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults in Canada is a two-year initiative funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. This project is being led by a multidisciplinary team assembled under the auspices of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) . The team recently completed drafting definitions of elder abuse and neglect as part of the first phase of the research. These draft definitions generated considerable interest from a number of countries when they were presented at the International Federation of Aging (IFA) Conference (May 3-6, 2010) in Melbourne, Australia. On June 3-4, 2010, NICE organized a follow-up workshop to obtain additional input and to establish a preliminary consensus on the definitions among key researchers and stakeholders. As a next step, NICE will undertake the development of surveys and questions that will be tested by focus groups.
Click on a title of interest below to read an article:
October 25 to 26 - Canadian Elder Abuse Training and Information Forum, Winnipeg , MB
This Forum will present participants with practical tools to increase their capacity to respond to situations of elder abuse. Speakers from across Canada will provide information on their research and training on elder abuse screening, assessment and prevention.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Lynn McDonald
Dr. Lynn McDonald co-authored the Canadian textbook, Aging in Contemporary Canada, 2nd edition (2008). She is also the author of a number of books and articles including one of the first Canadian texts on elder abuse, Elder Abuse and Neglect in Canada. In 2002 she was awarded the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee medal for her contributions to Canadian gerontology. In 2007, she received the Betty Havens Award in Longitudinal Research for her contributions to research in aging.
Currently, Dr. McDonald is a professor in the Faculty of Social Work and Director of the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto. She is also the Scientific Director of National Initiative of the Care of the Elderly, an International Centre of Excellence dedicated to the inter-professional care of older adults. Her research interests include work and retirement, violence against women and older adults, poverty and homelessness, and ethnicity and aging. She is currently a member of the Board of Accreditation of the Canadian Association of the Schools of Social Work, the Social Dimensions of Aging Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the planning committee for the new Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
Under the scientific direction of Dr. McDonald, NICE has recently acquired a two year grant from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. This grant will support NICE to define and measure the abuse and neglect of older adults, and will be used to inform thinking about how to measure its prevalence at a national level.
The BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCACRN) is a provincial non-profit registered charity committed to empowering communities and individuals through coordination and relationship building. Their vision is safe communities where all people are valued, respected and free from abuse and neglect.
The Community Response Networks (CRN), well-known throughout Canada, grew out of the implementation of Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act: Support and Assistance for Abused and Neglected Adults. The CRN movement is grounded in the community development principles of broad inclusion, meaningful participation, shared decision-making and assuming capability/building capacity.
Over the last couple of years, the BCACRN has undertaken a number of projects under the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative, including:
At the local level, approximately 30 CRNs led by volunteers, undertake primary and secondary prevention activities. At the provincial level, the BCACRN provides supports to local CRNs, such as a coordinated approach to resource development, and the development of materials and resources.
BCACRN will be holding a series of regional conferences on promising approaches – locally, regionally, provincially and nationally – over the next 18 months. At least one of these events will held virtually so that anyone from across Canada will be able to participate. These conferences are supported by the New Horizons for Seniors Programs (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada).
The February 2011 edition of the Elder Abuse E-bulletin will focus on key highlights and accomplishments of the Federal Elder Abuse Initiative's public health component.
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