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Raising awareness

Dear editor:

In April, 2002, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day following the United Nations International Plan of Action on Ageing.

This plan recognized the importance of addressing and preventing abuse and neglect of older adults.

It also identified that mistreatment of older adults was a violation of internationally-recognized human rights.

This day is intended to bring public awareness to the issue of elder abuse—a hidden problem affecting today’s older adults.

In honour of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the local Elder Abuse Awareness Committee presented a health and safety workshop for seniors, which provided practical information that promotes senior safety.

According to the 2006 census, Fort Frances has 2,430 individuals 55 years of age and older. Research from Canada indicates that between four and 10 percent of older adults will experience some type of abuse during their later years by someone they trust or rely on.

Based on this research, roughly 100-243 individuals could be experiencing some form of abuse in the community of Fort Frances.

The numbers are significant.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who volunteered their time to support World Elder Abuse Awareness Day through the health and safety workshop for seniors.

Your generous support has assisted the Elder Abuse Awareness Committee in our efforts to raise public awareness of abuse of older adults.

Signed,

Gerri Yerxa

Chair, Elder Abuse

Awareness Committee

Fort Frances, Ont.

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