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June 15th is World Elder Abuse Day and a day to talk about the effect elder abuse has on the over 200,000 Canadians who suffer from it each year. Elder abuse is a serious issue that affects many older adults, often manifesting as physical, emotional, financial, or neglectful mistreatment. In Ottawa, a range of resources and organizations are available to help prevent and address elder abuse, ensuring that the elderly population receives the care and respect they deserve.

One of the primary resources in Ottawa is the Elder Abuse Response and Referral Service, part of the Ottawa Senior Support Program. This service provides a confidential helpline (613-596-5626 x 230) where seniors, caregivers, and concerned individuals can report abuse and receive guidance. The service offers referrals to appropriate agencies for legal, financial, and emotional support, ensuring that victims get comprehensive assistance.

Carefor operates the Elder Abuse Prevention Program. This program provides confidential services that protect older adults experiencing abuse through intervention, support, consultation, and community referrals. We offer community support services within Ottawa and the Eastern Counties including Cornwall, Prescott-Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, and Akwesasne.  Short-term crisis beds are also available to seniors until permanent and safer arrangements are made.

Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario (EAPO) is the provincial organization that engages and with over 40 local area Elder Abuse Networks across Ontario, to meet the unique needs of their local community in preventing elder abuse. EAPO offers information such as fact sheets on a variety of topics related to elder abuse. Legal resources are also available through the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE), a community-based legal clinic that provides free legal services to low-income seniors. ACE helps with issues related to elder abuse, including navigating the legal system, understanding rights, and pursuing legal action if necessary.

For those seeking emotional and psychological support, the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region offers a 24/7 crisis line (613-238-3311) where seniors can talk to trained volunteers about their concerns. The centre also provides information on local support groups and counselling services.

In the Ottawa Valley, the Renfrew Victoria Hospital offers Older Adult Protection Services to provide “care and support to seniors experiencing abuse, seniors at risk of harm and their caregivers in Renfrew County.” You can visit their website or call 1-800-363-7222. For urgent needs, speak with one of their on-call nurses 24 hours a day for information and support. There is also Renfrew County Crime Stoppers.

There is also information about elder abuse from the Province of Ontario such as types of abuse, identifying if someone is being abused and what to do if you or someone you know is being abused.

Community involvement is vital in preventing elder abuse. Ottawa’s community centres and senior organizations frequently host events and workshops to educate the public about elder abuse and to promote a culture of respect and care for the elderly.

Preventing elder abuse in Ottawa requires a coordinated effort involving various local resources. By leveraging these services, the community can work together to protect and support its senior population, ensuring they live in safety and dignity.

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