MP speaks out against elder abuse

Elder abuse is a growing problem society needs to recognize and act upon.

Elder abuse is a growing problem society needs to recognize and act upon.

Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins, who spoke at the Rimbey Farmers’ Market May 25, said elder abuse is a serious issue and ensuring the rights, safety and dignity of seniors is upheld should be a priority for everyone.

“At a very young age I was taught to have respect for my elders and respect for the contributions and sacrifices they have put forth so that so many of us can enjoy the freedoms we have today. Growing older should not strip the dignity and integrity from anyone. As we grow older in this new world there are challenges for everyone to face.”

Calkins noted that under the Protecting Seniors Act, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age and other personal circumstances, such as health or financial situation, will now be considered as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

The MP added a three-year $13 million initiative has been launched designed to help seniors recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and provide information on available supports.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes elder abuse awareness programs, helps organizations develop national or regional education and awareness activities to reduce the incidence of abuse of seniors.

“Our elders are the ones who have made our country the best place on earth to live. They were the ones that paved the path to prosperity for myself and my family. It is only right that we, as a government, do what we can to ensure they live with dignity and respect, and when faced with incidents where they are victimized, justice is swift and severe.”