The following text is from a media release on the launch of the Senior’s Abuse Support Line. It was published by the province of Manitoba here.
March 1, 2011
Province announces enhanced Senior’s Abuse Support Line now available full time
As of today, the provincewide Seniors Abuse Line is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau has announced.
“Abuse is often hidden and people can be reluctant to seek help. We need to ensure that older adults know they have a confidential service to turn to any time they need it,” said Rondeau. “I encourage any senior who is experiencing abuse or anyone just seeking information about it to please call the toll-free line at 1-888-896-7183, where there are people prepared to help.”
Along with the expanded hours of service, the line now offers full telephone counselling from highly trained counsellors, the minister said. Information about elder abuse and referrals to other agencies will continue to be available. The line is funded by the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat of Manitoba Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors. Klinic Community Health Centre will be working with Age & Opportunity to deliver the elder abuse phone counselling.
“This is the type of service that Klinic has a great deal of experience in providing. We’re pleased to be putting that experience to good use in working with the province and Age & Opportunity to ensure that older adults, concerned family members and other individuals receive the counselling, support and information that they need, when they need it,” Tim Wall, director of counselling services.
The abuse of older adults is considered to be any action or inaction by a person in a relationship of trust which jeopardizes the health or well-being of an older person, Rondeau explained. The types of abuse are physical, sexual, emotional and financial as well as neglect. In 2002, the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat established a comprehensive provincial strategy to address issues of abuse of older adults. A key component of the strategy is the funded partnerships with key senior serving organizations to provide direct elder-abuse services, such as the seniors abuse line, the minister added.
In implementing the provincial strategy, the secretariat’s elder-abuse consultant works throughout Manitoba to ensure that services and supports are co-ordinated and widely available, he said. In October, an elder-abuse guide was released for the north Eastman health region so that all regions in Manitoba now have a guide in place to provide information to residents that is specific to their areas.
“The Age‑Friendly Manitobainitiative supports seniors in leading active, socially engaged and independent lives that contribute to healthy aging,” Rondeau said. “By making healthy choices and remaining active and socially connected, seniors will diminish their risk of experiencing abuse. It is Manitoba’s goal to be the most age-friendly province in Canada by working with communities to enhance the programs and services that benefit the well-being of all seniors.”