According to research by the World Health Organization, as many as one in six people over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. A core part of fighting elder abuse is spreading information and awareness both about how to identify elder abuse, and about experiences of elder abuse in our communities.
In our upcoming program, Seniors Against All Forms of Elder Abuse (Stay SAFE), senior women will have the opportunity to learn about how to recognize different forms of elder abuse, different resources that can help seniors experiencing elder abuse, and how to share their knowledge to increase awareness and safety among senior women about elder abuse.
To increase awareness about elder abuse and the different forms it can take, we’re reaching out to the community for experiences that can shed a light on the reality of elder abuse.
What counts as elder abuse?
Definitions of elder abuse vary, but generally focus on the same core issues. For the purposes of this program, we are looking at elder abuse as any action or inaction that harms, endangers, or causes distress to a person over 55, and is done by someone who is in a position of trust or power over that person, such as a family member, friend, care provider, staff member, or other position of trust or authority.
Violence toward or mistreatment of seniors can also come from people who are not in a position of trust or power. We are also accepting stories of these experiences as they contribute toward a fuller understanding of ageism and the exploitation of older adults.
Who can share their story?
Everyone is welcomed to share their story – all stories have a place in understanding the full picture of elder abuse. Stories may be shared about individual experience of another family member or friend. If the story you would share is primarily about another’s experience, please ensure you have the consent of the individual to share their story.
What will my story be used for?
In Seniors Against All Forms of Elder Abuse (Stay SAFE) sessions in our upcoming program, we will explore different topics about elder abuse and its different forms (financial, physical, emotional, sexual, neglect and abandonment). These true stories and experiences of elder abuse will be used to help participants understand real ways elder abuse can happen, making them more able to identify experiences of elder abuse in their lives. Stories will be used as they pertain to weekly topics.
Will my story be anonymous?
Your privacy is important to us, and we are aware that these are very sensitive stories and experiences. Identifying information (names, specific locations, etc.) will not be shared with the group. All names will be replaced before stories are shared with the group. The only exception to this is if you register and are confirmed as a speaker during a session, as specified under the How can I get more involved? header. If you request to be and are selected as a speaker, you will have the opportunity to speak to a group directly about your personal experiences.
How can I get more involved?
If you’re interested in participating in the Seniors Against All Forms of Elder Abuse (Stay SAFE) sessions or learning more about the program, sign up for the York Region Women’s Foundation mailing list or follow us on social media on Facebook or Instagram for future updates.
The York Region Women’s Foundation is also looking to invite some speakers to talk on their experiences as they apply to particular topics. If you are interested in sharing your experience directly as a speaker, please select ‘I am interested in sharing my experiences directly with Stay SAFE as a speaker’ at the end of the story survey.