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The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse was in communication with the Minister’s office about WEAAD and  a statement was issued by Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016:

Statement by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

“As Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I would like to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) which takes place every year on June 15.

In 2006, the World Health Organization and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse launched WEAAD to bring focus to the mistreatment of older adults. In 2011, it was officially recognized by the United Nations. It is an opportunity to bring global attention to the abuse and neglect many seniors are experiencing.

Elder abuse is a serious issue affecting many seniors in communities not only in Canada but all around the world. It can take many forms—physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse.

All Canadians have a right to live in dignity. I encourage everyone to join countries around the world in helping bring global attention to this important issue. We can each make a difference simply by talking with family members, friends and colleagues about the issue and how to recognize the signs of abuse. If we suspect that an older adult we know may be mistreated in some way, we can reach out to him or her directly. Raising awareness and recognizing the signs are key to stopping elder abuse.

We believe that Canada is at its best when all citizens are treated fairly and have the opportunity to reach their full potential – especially seniors who make valuable contributions to our society. That is why through Budget 2016, we are lifting Canadians out of poverty by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up for single seniors, and restoring the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement from 67 to 65.

By working together, we can help ensure all seniors are treated with fairness and respect and enjoy the quality of life they deserve. Let’s put an end to elder abuse today.”

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Additional information

What are indicators of elder abuse and neglect?

Elder abuse and neglect can be very difficult to detect. The following signs and symptoms may indicate that an older adult is being victimized or neglected:


  • fear, anxiety, depression or passiveness in relation to a family member, friend or care provider;
  • unexplained physical injuries;
  • dehydration, poor nutrition or poor hygiene;
  • improper use of medication;
  • confusion about new legal documents, such as a new will or a new mortgage;
  • sudden drop in cash flow or financial holdings; and
  • reluctance to speak about the situation.


Who can help?
It is important that the older person have access to information to make informed decisions and be aware of available help. This may include support and assistance from family members or friends, health care providers, social services, police, legal professionals and/or members of faith communities. No one ever deserves to be abused or neglected.

New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP)
Elder abuse awareness is one of the many issues receiving ongoing federal support through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). Since 2004, this program has funded close to 17,800 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, with a total Government of Canada investment of more than $360 million.

National survey on the mistreatment of older adults in Canada
On May 26, 2016, the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) released a prevalence study on elder abuse and neglect in Canada. This pan-Canadian study, funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), is the first national study to quantify the extent of mistreatment of older adults since 1989, and is the most comprehensive study of its type ever undertaken in Canada. The results of this research will provide evidence to help inform not only the federal government, but all partners, in addressing elder abuse.


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