On Thursday October 17, we welcomed RECAA (Respecting Elders Communities Against Abuse) and their troop of actors for an afternoon of theatre to raise awareness about elder abuse. We had a great time and truly appreciated the opportunity to take part in a series of activities that stimulated discussion about elder abuse and that led to different problem solving scenarios built on respect.
The afternoon began with a fun, interactive activity called “The Wind Blows.” With the group standing in a large circle, each person had the chance to step in the centre and say something meaningful and true about themselves. All those who identified with their statement could then step into the circle and share in the feeling of support, respect and community.
This activity was followed by an interactive, non-verbal forum play where the actors played out the different scenes with expressions and movements only, while the story was narrated in English in the background. A discussion of the characters then followed, where participants got the chance to re-enact the scenes, explore and raise awareness of different types of elder abuse, as well as acquire and share skills that could help them prevent elder abuse and change the story-line. The afternoon ended with a look at the various resources available to seniors within the Outaouais.
We would like to thank the RECAA troop for a fabulous afternoon! We truly enjoyed the fun, interactive activities and play, as well as the opportunity to take part in the action on the stage. A thank you to Marie-Pier, Regional Coordinator Specializing in combating older adults mistreatment from the Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais and the Table régionale contre la maltraitance des aînés de l’Outaouais for partnering with us on this project. And a thank you to Linda Vanderleee for helping us facilitate the afternoon, as well as Brenda MacGuire and all the volunteers from the St.Mark’s Church Catholic Women’s Guild who provided the location and refreshments.
Make sure to check out our pics below!
If you, or someone you know, needs help, check-out our YouAsked: “What Should I Do If I Suspect Elder Abuse?” to find information on: what to do if you suspect abuse, what are the possible signs of abuse, and abuse prevention.
The following were some of the resources shared during the event:
Elder abuse is real and it happens to many seniors. It includes psychological or physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial or property abuse, negligence and violation of human rights. And elder abuse is not always perpetrated by strangers. Over 90% of all reported abuse of seniors is committed by someone in their own family. Shockingly, financial abuse such as depleting joint checking accounts, promising but not delivering care in exchange for money or property, and even outright theft is most often committed by someone known by the senior. And it’s not just wealthy seniors who are at risk. Low income older adults are commonly targeted as well.
Resources on Elder Abuse:
- Info-social, 8-1-1, option 2: Connects you to a qualified social worker 24/7, who will evaluate the situation and direct you to the appropriate service.
- Aide Abus Aînés is a bilingual, confidential help line and referral service for seniors who are victims of exploitation, abuse or neglect, and their families, friends, neighbours and the general population. Call 1-888-489-2287.
- Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights Commission) is an organization that makes sure the protections in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms are respected. The services of the Commission are free. Call 1-800-361-6477.
- Crime Victims Assistance Centre (CAVAC) help crime victims and their families. It is not necessary to file a complaint with the police to use their services. Services are provided by professionals and are confidential and free of charge. Call 1-866-532-2822.
- S.O.S. Violence conjugale – Or call 1-800-363-9010
- Éducaloi’s online legal information: Protecting Seniors from Exploitation and Abuse and Seniors: A Short Guide
Financial Scams & Frauds
According to the Canadian Department of Justice, over 10% of Canadian seniors are victims of consumer fraud each year and seniors continue to be a rapidly increasing segment of the population targeted by fraudsters and scammers. Examples of financial fraud include identity theft, credit or debit card fraud, prize scams (such as a fake contest offering a cruise as a prize), fake charities collecting donations for organizations that do not really exist and requests for money transfers.
Investing and Financial Advisors Fraud:
- L’Autorité des marchés financiers (Quebec) – Or call 1-877-525-0337.
- Canadian Securities Administrators
- Sûreté du Québec – Or call 819-770-9111, 310-4141 (to open an investigation into fraud, or contact your local police)
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre of the RCMP – Or call 1-888-495-8501
- PhoneBusters (Canadian Anti-fraud Call Center) – Or call 1-888-495-8501
- Many banks and other financial institutions have pamphlets and websites about fraud. The Canadian Bankers Association website also has a section on this topic.
- Éducaloi – Seniors and Financial Fraud and Seniors: A Short Guide
- Government of Quebec: Protect Your Identity Online (french only).
- Sûreté du Québec, RCMP and other partners: “Internet 101“.
- Office de la protection du consommateur – Or call 1-888-672-2556 (consumer protection bureau)
- Canadian Consumer Information Gateway