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Become a champion of elder abuse prevention

1 in 2 people are prejudiced against older people.

Every year, on June 15th, we all join forces to remind the world that human rights don’t get old

This World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), we invited Canadians of all ages to become a Champion of elder abuse prevention by pledging to stand up for the rights of older people.

We hosted our annual virtual event on June 15th, bringing together experts on aging and elder abuse, politicians and community members to discuss what we can all do to ensure older Canadians are safe from abuse and neglect.

Speaker Spotlight

Sherry Baker, Executive Director, BC Association of Community Response Networks

Sherry Baker has owned and operated a private consulting and counselling practice since 1990. She was hired as the Executive Director of the BC Association of Community Response Networks in July 2010 and has been a member of the Council to Reduce Elder Abuse (CREA) since its inception.

Sherry has sat on, and chaired many provincial, regional and local boards over the years. She was elected to City Council in Chilliwack in the 1980’s where she served for 6 years. Sherry has been a Rotarian since 1992. She was on the Township of Langley’s Sustainability Task Force and chaired its Seniors’ Advisory Committee.  She is the co-chair of the Older Adult and Caregivers Advisory Committee for Age-Well. She was the Executive Director of Ishtar Transition Housing Society from 1995-2006.

She was awarded the Canada 125 Medal and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  She has been awarded three Paul Harris Fellowships by Rotary International.  She was awarded the “Elder Abuse Awareness to Action Award” by Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre in 2018.

Sherry holds a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavioral Science from City University in Seattle, a Bachelor of Home Economics from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma in Business Administration from Fraser Valley University.

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO, CanAge

Laura Tamblyn Watts is the Founder and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization. Laura is a passionate advocate on a variety of urgent issues affecting older Canadians, including long-term care and home care, financial security, elder abuse, health care, ageism and inclusion of marginalized communities.
Laura previously served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons before establishing CanAge at the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. Since then, CanAge has emerged as a go-to media commentator and trusted voice for Canadian seniors, underscored by Laura’s more than 20 years’ experience defending the rights and dignity of older people as a lawyer and thought-leader.

Gregor Sneddon, Executive Director, HelpAge Canada

Gregor has been with HelpAge Canada since 2019, just in time to lead Canada’s first pan-Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Relief response for older Canadians. HelpAge Canada funds community-based initiatives through its partnerships locally and abroad to improve the lives of older persons and their communities. HelpAge Canada develops innovative projects and leads network-wide collaborations designed to create a world for all persons to age with dignity. In Canada, HelpAge addresses social isolation and loneliness among low-income and marginalized older people through pan-Canadian digital literacy programming, age-friendly transportation initiatives, the Men’s Sheds movement and the Seniors Can! grant program. Gregor currently leads the HelpAge Canada international portfolio which includes a “Sponsor a Grandparent” program in 6 countries and is currently spearheading a humanitarian intervention in Ukraine, Moldova and Poland, along with ongoing humanitarian projects in Ethiopia. HelpAge is a founding member of HelpAge International, a global network of more than 150 partners in over 85 countries. He is a proud father and husband and likes to cook with loud jazz or reggae music.

Jane Osborne, Regional Mentor, Central & North Vancouver Island, BC Association of Community Response Networks
Volunteer, Restorative Justice Victoria, Ladysmith Restorative Justice & Arrowsmith Community Justice Programs

Jane came to her work in community because of a personal experience with a close friend’s elderly mother who was abused by her husband. She didn’t know where to go to find supports for her and the search led to BC Association of Community Response Networks and the adult guardianship field. A restorative justice and more recently an anti-racism and reconciliation lens allows her to explore and understand her own privilege and personal history, enabling her to bring her whole being into envisioning and supporting collective action around the social determinants of health. She is also a member of the United Way’s Community Based Seniors Sector Leadership Committee. In this role, she focuses her energy on rural and remote communities (including First Nations / Indigenous communities), LGBTQ2+ and other marginalized individuals within those communities.

Helen Hirsh Spence, Founder, Top Sixty Over Sixty 

After devoting 35 years to increasingly senior leadership positions in both the public and private education sectors, Helen embarked on a journey of social entrepreneurship. She saw how ageism was impacting her generation and how the upcoming demographic shift would affect Canada’s social and economic fabric. As a result, she founded Top Sixty Over Sixty, which was created to celebrate, educate, and amplify the positive impact of older Canadians by debunking common myths about ageing and being “old”. Her deep understanding of how ageism impacts individuals, communities and economies is gaining traction and having an increasing impact on diversity strategies in the workplace. 

Top Sixty Over Sixty provides thought leadership, consulting and training on age inclusion and diversity. Helen publishes articles, speaks at conferences, and organizes events to promote a reframed narrative of ageing.

Dr. Stephanie Hatzifilalithis, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster Institute for Research on Aging, McMaster University

Stephanie earned her PhD in Social Gerontology and is currently a MIRA Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University. Stephanie has been awarded a SSHRC doctoral scholarship, Ontario Graduate/Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, and the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award. Her work focuses on intergenerati​onal relations, dynamics and ageism. She brings an interdisciplinary lens to challenges facing aging populations with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the International Faculty of The University of Sheffield and a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London, UK. She is passionate about building intergenerational connections through innovative knowledge mobilization practice. With a focus on co-housing, solidarity and equity, her dissertation research examined how intergenerational landscapes are understood in the 21st century and investigates how new configurations (e.g., Senior and student co-housing) influence later life through ethnographic and community-based research. 

Margaret MacPherson, Research Associate, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Western University

Margaret is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children (CREVAWC) at Western University in London Ontario. Margaret designs and develops curriculum and related materials on a number of initiatives including the Make It Our Business, workplace domestic violence program, and It’s Not Right! Neighbours, Friends and Families for Older Adults. Margaret is passionate in her belief that everyone has an important contribution to make in creating safe and supportive environments at work and in our communities.

Mélanie Couture, PhD, Institutional Researcher and Scientific director of the UETMISSS, CREGÉS and Affiliated Professor, Département de psychologie, Université de Sherbrooke

Mélanie is an institutional researcher at CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and an affiliate professor in the Department of Psychology at the Université de Sherbrooke. She holds a PhD in clinical sciences (2009) and a postdoctorate in program evaluation (2013). Her research interests include partnerships between different actors in the social and health care system, evaluative research and elder mistreatment. She is co-head of project in three ministerial mandates granted by the MSSS to the CIUSSS aimed at countering elder mistreatment.

Take the Pledge

We all have a role to play in protecting the rights of older people. No matter where you live in Canada, you can be part of this shared journey to create a safe and supportive society.

Below are a list of actions you can take to combat ageism and elder abuse in your community (and beyond)!

To take the pledge, simply check off the actions you plan to take this year. Select as many as you like! The actions are grouped under headings based on your role within your community, so select your role and get started!

After you take the pledge, you’ll receive emails with more information you can use to take action and maximize your impact. You’ll also keep up to date on this campaign and other things you can do to help keep seniors in your community safe from harm.

These pledge actions are taken from Future Us: A Roadmap to Elder Abuse Prevention, published by CNPEA in March 2022. This community engagement strategy is the result of extensive pan-Canadian consultation and collaboration and will be rolled out across Canada.

Future Us charts a clear path forward to protecting the human rights of older people in Canada.

These pledge actions are taken from Future Us: A Roadmap to Elder Abuse Prevention, published by CNPEA in March 2022. This community engagement strategy is the result of extensive pan-Canadian consultation and collaboration and will be rolled out across Canada.

Future Us charts a clear path forward to protecting the human rights of older people in Canada.

These pledge actions are taken from Future Us: A Roadmap to Elder Abuse Prevention, published by CNPEA in March 2022. This community engagement strategy is the result of extensive pan-Canadian consultation and collaboration and will be rolled out across Canada.

Future Us charts a clear path forward to protecting the human rights of older people in Canada.

Using the form above is the easiest way to take a pledge but, to make it as accessible as possible, we’ve also created a PDF version you can download. Download the English PDF

Get the Facts

1 senior abused is 1 too many. Unfortunately, when it comes to showing just how urgent a problem elder abuse is, the numbers don’t lie.

  • 1 in 2 people are prejudiced against older people (Global Report on Ageism, World Health Organization)
  • 1 in 5 Canadians say older people are a burden on society (Report on Ageism, Revera, 2012)
  • An estimated 7.5% of Canadians 55 and older experienced abuse (Into the Light National Survey on the Mistreatment of Older Canadians, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly, 2015)
  • 1 in 6 people over the age of 60 are victims of elder abuse (World Health Organization)
  • In 2021, Women aged 55 and older represented 28% of all victims of femicide (Call it Femicide Report, Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, 2021)
  • Nearly 8 in 10 seniors report age discrimination in healthcare (Report on Ageism, Revera, 2012)
  • In Ontario, there was a 250% increase in calls to the Seniors Safety Line in 2020 (Assaulted Women’s Helpline, 2021)

Take Action

Let’s stand together and remind the world that rights don’t get old.

  1. Spread the word: Share this page with your family, friends and colleagues. You can also use the social media images and pre-written posts below.
  2. Take the pledge above
  3. Join us online on June 15th! 

Post on Social Media

We’ve created a set of social media graphics and pre-written posts you can use to promote WEAAD 2022.

Twitter   

On June 15th, join me in pledging to become a champion of #ElderAbuse prevention! www.weaad.ca #WEAAD2022 #RightsDoNotGetOld

1 in 2 people are prejudiced against #seniors . Pledge to help end #ElderAbuse in Canada! www.weaad.ca #WEAAD2022 #RightsDoNotGetOld

We all have a role to play inpreventing #ElderAbuse . Take the pledge www.weaad.ca #WEAAD2022 #RightsDoNotGetOld

1 in 6 people are victims of #ElderAbuse . On June 15th, take the pledge to combat #ageism in your community www.weaad.ca #WEAAD2022 #RightsDoNotGetOld

On #WEAAD2022 , join 1000’s of Canadians pledging to become champions of #ElderAbuse prevention! www.weaad.ca #RightsDoNotGetOld

LinkedIn

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Join me in pledging to become a champion of #ElderAbuse prevention!

1 in 6 seniors are victims of abuse and neglect.

We all have a role to play in ensuring older Canadians live safely with dignity.

www.weaad.ca

#RightsDoNotGetOld

Facebook  

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Around the world, 1 in 6 older people suffer abuse and neglect. I don’t accept this, and am doing something about it.

Join me in taking the pledge to become a champion of elder abuse prevention!

www.weaad.ca

Join the Movement

Sign up below to receive updates on our WEAAD campaign and elder abuse prevention news, tools and resources.

Spread the word and share this!

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