Combatting elder abuse begins with taking a stance against ageism. The World Health Organization defines ageism as “stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards others or oneself based on age”. Ageism is a factor in elder abuse. It manifests in individual cases and systemically through policies. The Covid-19 Pandemic has amplified the negative effect of ageism on our society. It has helped to shed a light on the problematic policies that carry an underlying ageist attitude. The World Health Organization published its Global Report on Ageism on March 18, 2021.
The report calls for “urgent action to combat ageism and better measurement and reporting to expose ageism”. The Report offers three evidence based strategies to combat ageism and recommendations for action. The WHO is launching a global campaign to combat ageism and offering a toolkit to better equip those interested in joining the campaign. This toolkit is helpful to assist with initiating conversations within our community around ageism. On March 30, 2021 an international dialogue will be held on the impact of Covid-19 on the human rights of older persons. You can register for the event here.
June 15, 2021 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. At Community Legal Aid, we believe that seniors have the right to access to justice because equality should not change as we age. We advocate for the dignified treatment of our seniors and offer assistance as they interact with the justice system. CLA strives to educate our community on ageism and elder abuse.
We also believe that seniors have the right to safe housing because accessing affordable housing does not mean giving up on safety. Current legislation leaves those accessing care services at their retirement, long-term care or nursing home vulnerable to unregulated increases in care services fees. The current Covid-19 pandemic has only exposed the well-known problems in care, safety and affordability of long-term care homes.
All of us age. How we treat our seniors reflects our collective values. On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day we remind all of us that “rights don’t get old”.
March is Fraud Prevention Month and here are a few tips to practice:
LaSalle Police Services
Windsor Police Services