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Taking action against elder abuse

Provincial Press Release March 17, 2021 @ 12:34pm published at 1:30pm

Alberta’s government is providing $750,000 over two years to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council, to provide one-time funding to the province’s 31 eligible coordinated community responses (CCRs) to elder abuse. CCRs are multidisciplinary partnerships that can include a range of partners such as local governments, non-profit organizations, businesses, health service providers and police services.

The funding will be used to increase supports for seniors affected by elder abuse, explore a consistent approach to data collection and enhance the skills of responders.

“Elder abuse is a complex issue that requires community solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a stronger response to prevent and address elder abuse. With the help of the council, these funds will get right to the organizations and service providers who are leading this important work in their communities.” Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing
“These funds will allow us to increase the capacity of organizations to address elder abuse at the local level. We are excited to be able to support direct services for seniors experiencing elder abuse by building on the great work already being done in the community.” Shantel Ottenbreit, chair, Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council
“COVID-19 has decreased in-home supports and increased social isolation. As a result, we are seeing an increase in cases in Calgary. Because elder abuse is often committed by a person in a position of trust, these situations require specialized skills to navigate the personal, social, economic, family and cultural factors. This funding will allow communities to offer case management services with workers who have the skills required to support older adults experiencing elder abuse.” Lisa Stebbins, director of multigenerational wellness in community, carya
“Effectively addressing elder abuse in rural Alberta must come from a community approach. Supporting coordinated community response models through funding is imperative to the success of CCRs in providing effective and timely services to older adults experiencing abuse in our province.” Charlene Sitar, regional elder abuse prevention coordinator, Town of Hinton

The council will design and deliver a funding program to eligible CCRs, with an aim to:

  • improve seniors’ access to help navigating available supports

  • explore best practices for data collection

  • increase regional collaboration between CCRs

  • ensure the sustainability of CCR programs and services

Funding will also enable the council to provide enhanced elder abuse awareness training for service providers and responders.

Details about program eligibility and the application process will be available through the council’s website at

Additional work on elder abuse is underway. This year, the province will work with stakeholders and the public to establish a consistent definition of elder abuse, explore more formalized data collection and information-sharing practices, and improve coordination across programs and service. Consideration is also being given to the potential role of provincial elder abuse legislation.

Alberta’s government continues to work closely with the federal government to support priorities related to elder abuse nationally.

Other supports

Alberta’s government has produced several resources to support individuals and organizations as they work to prevent and address elder abuse:

  • Collaborative Online Resources and Education (CORE) Alberta is an online platform that helps seniors organizations improve service delivery by sharing resources and coordinating services. Currently, 28 organizations are using the platform to collaborate on elder abuse prevention.

  • Addressing Elder Abuse: A Toolkit for Developing a Coordinated Community Response to Elder Abuse is an extensive resource designed to help communities increase their capacity to address elder abuse.

  • The Social Isolation resource kit provides tools to help service providers raise awareness about the relationship between social isolation and elder abuse.

Quick facts

  • Elder abuse is any action or inaction, by self or others, which jeopardizes the health or well-being of a senior.

  • Rates of family violence, including elder abuse, tend to increase during and following natural disasters, public health crises and economic downturns.

  • It is important to know where to turn if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence.

    • Call 911 if you, or someone you know, is being abused and is in immediate danger.

    • The police can apply for an Emergency Protection Order to provide you with immediate protection if you are in imminent danger.

    • A 24-hour Family Violence Info Line is available at 310-1818, to receive anonymous help in more than 170 languages.

    • There are three elder abuse shelters in Alberta:

      • Kerby Rotary Shelter in Calgary – 403-705-3250

      • Sage Seniors Safe House in Edmonton – 780-702-1520

      • Elder Abuse Shelter in Red Deer – 403-343-6074


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