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Taking aim at elder abuse

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Last week, the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.) raised the issue of elder abuse.

Clearly, the effects of physical abuse can be noticeable and repaired. More insidious, though, are the effects of psychological and/or emotional abuse, which can have long-term effects on the health of the victims.

Emotional abuse includes actions, verbal and non-verbal, which can lessen a person’s sense of identity, dignity, or self-worth.

In almost all reported cases of emotional abuse, the abuser is a member of the senior’s family.

The emotional and social well-being of seniors is significantly impacted by abuse, which can lead to higher rates of depression and anxiety, which, in turn, leads to increased isolation.

Both the federal and provincial governments have worked to raise public awareness of elder abuse, In 2008, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $13 million over a period of three years to raise awareness through the federal Elder Abuse Initiative.

We probably all saw the advertising campaign launched in 2009 aimed at helping Canadians recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse.

To ensure the continued safety and well-being of seniors, it is important that these campaigns are not “one off” campaigns.

The Ontario government also has a Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse.

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Many reports have been issued regarding the importance of remaining physically active as we age.

If you would enjoy participating with others in a walking group, you are invited to meet at the Sister Kennedy Centre each Tuesday at 9:45 a.m.

The walk commences at 10 a.m. and participants can go at their own pace—even if they have a walker!

Afterwards, you can enjoy coffee and a chat at the centre (the cost of coffee is $1).

The Seniors and Law Enforcement Together group is interested in your concerns and looks forward to your input, which you can mail to Box ‘S’ c/o the Fort Frances Times, 116 First St. E., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 1K2,

You also can talk to use at the upcoming trade show on April 29-30 at the Memorial Sports Centre.

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