situations, as they can help a personwork through the abuse, create a safetyplan and access a variety of communityresources.” Your family doctor canconnect you with a social worker on anelder abuse resource or response team.
The police can also help you follow upand explore the signs further.
Abuse can also occur in families whereadult children are caring for parents ontop of working full time and lookingafter their own families.
“Caregiver burden can unintentionallylead to neglect or abuse,” Bueckertsays. “They love their older adult, butstruggle with all of the demands placedon them. Providing caregiver supportcan be a very important strategy inthese situations.” Organizations such asCaregivers Alberta provide resourcesand support for people looking afterloved ones.
Preventing elder abuse
Education is a big part of preventing
elder abuse. It’s also important for
older adults to have safe places to talk
about abuse. If people know about elder
abuse, they can take steps to protect
themselves and their loved ones. And
if older adults feel supported, they can
also speak out or seek help.
“Another very important way toprotect ourselves is through advance careplanning,” Bueckert says. “This allowsus to choose the people we trust to stepin when needed.” Advance care planningis a way to discuss and document ourwishes for healthcare in case we becomeunable to make those choices.
Helen and Jill were shocked anddisappointed that their mother’sformer caregiver broke their trust, butthey’re not automatically wary of othercaregivers, especially now that they areaware of elder abuse and how it canhappen.
“The way we look at it, both Jill and Ifeel we did nothing wrong hiring Mom’sformer caregiver,” Helen says. “Shewas very good with Mom and all of us.
We can only move forward in the same
The sisters have hired a new
caregiver––after taking precautions to
protect their mother. They removed all
debit cards, credit cards and cheques
from the home. Helen also now
reviews all her mother’s financial
statements and transactions.
Awareness can make all the differencein ending elder abuse, but being aware
ELDER ABUSE HELP
If you or a loved one needs help withelder abuse, visit albertaelderabuse.ca or call:
• Calgary: Elder Abuse ResourceLine; 403-705-3250
• Edmonton: Seniors Abuse HelpLine; 780-454-8888
• Lethbridge: Lethbridge ElderAbuse Response Network;403-394-0306
• Medicine Hat: CommunityResponse to Abuse and Neglectof Elders; 403-529-4798
• Red Deer: Helping Elder AbuseReduction; 1-877-454-2580 or403-346-6076
• St. Alberta and area: Stop Abusein Families; 780-460-2195.
does not mean being suspicious anddistrustful. Ultimately, preventing abusecomes down to ensuring safety for all.“The abuse of older adults is everyone’sconcern,” Bueckert says. |a