World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
By Eleni Fakotakis, HCGM HSSQ Director
June 15 has been designated as a day to help increase awareness against elder abuse. It was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).
WHAT IS ELDER MISTREATMENT?
Elderly mistreatment occurs when a natural, paid or professional caregiver intervenes with a repetitive negative act or gesture, or neglects to provide appropriate care (either intentionally or unintentionally) thereby providing misleading information, causing distress or harm to a vulnerable elderly person who trusts this caregiver and is dependent on their care. ». It is estimated that 4 to 7 % of elderly are affected by this problem which can have one or more forms happening to the elderly person at once, for example:
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MISTREATMENT
- Physical : To hit, pinch, squeeze the arm or push an elderly person and or to urge the elderly person to eat their food quickly
- Emotional or psychological : To humiliate, threaten, ignore, isolate or treat an elderly person as a child
- Sexual : To intimidate with obscene language or gestures, to rape, or to engage in inappropriate touching
- Financial or material : To withhold money, misinform or not consult the elderly person on matters pertaining to their finances, steal their goods, or to put pressure on them regarding heredity issues
- Violation of Rights : To impose a medical treatment, to not be consulted on decisions regarding living arrangements and health
- Institutional : When there is abuse of authority, lack of resources, lack of appropriate staff training, intolerance or when procedures compromise the rights and liberties of the users in an institution (outpatients or living in residence)
- Discriminatory, based on age : Prejudice, discrimination or negative attitude based on age
DIFFICULT TO DENOUNCE
It is very difficult for the elderly person to denounce the mistreatment being carried out towards them as the abuser is generally a family member, a professional in an institution, or a friend. The vulnerable elderly will hesitate to speak about their situation because they fear retaliation or abandonment by the person taking care of them or that their living situation will drastically change.
IF YOU ARE AN ELDERLY PERSON IN THIS SITUATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE HCGM HELLENIC SOCIAL SERVICES OF QUÉBEC (HSSQ OR SSHQ) 514-738-2421 LOCAL 121 OR 450-688-2091.