Canadians have been shocked and saddened by recent reports of elder abuse, ranging from neglect, emotional and financial abuse to physical and sexual abuse.
It is an unfortunate fact that in Canada in 2009, more than 2,400 people over the age of 65 were victims of violent crime by a family member. It is projected that by 2016, the Canadian population of persons 65 years and older will increase by 5 per cent. As this segment of the population increases, so does the potential for incidents of elder abuse.
Senior's Guidebook to Safety and Security
The RCMP is dedicated to the protection of all persons, including our elders, and on June 15, 2011, over 150 older adults gathered at “D” Division Headquarters in Winnipeg for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
“I truly believe that the protection and safety of all individuals requires a community effort,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson, Commanding Officer of RCMP “D” Division. “While there are those in society who take advantage of older adults, there are many more who care deeply about protecting our respected elders.”
Currently, the RCMP has a number of programs aimed at assisting elders, including Police Academy – Older Adult Division and the Seniors’ Safety Guidebook, which is available on the RCMP website (rcmp.gc.ca). The most current innovation is the recent change to our data collection system, which improves tracking the abuse of Older Adults in Manitoba.
The daylong event at RCMP headquarters featured entertainment, skits and a variety of speakers. In addition, several Boy Scouts were on hand to receive their Seniors Safety and
Over 70 cities and communities took part in World Elder Abuses Awareness Day events, including Cst. Kevin Wynn in Steinbach who assisted with the 55 Plus Games in Steinbach. Cst. Wynn was also a participant in the Wheelchair – athon in support of the Rest Haven Nursing Home.
In Rossburn, Cst. Brian Shewfelt made a presentation at the Drop In Centre regarding personal safety, home security, elder abuse and identity theft.
Sgt. Robert Cooke of “D” Division Community Policing Services emceed the event.
“The abuse and neglect of our older adults in Manitoba, Canada and around the world needs to be brought to the forefront and solutions must be implemented,” said Cooke. “The RCMP is constantly seeking out new ways to prevent elder abuse and to educate both older adults and their friends and families on how to recognize the signs of mistreatment.”