Promoting and safeguarding the health, dignity, rights, and quality of life for seniors.
What is Seniors Outreach Services?
The Seniors Outreach services strives to improve the accessibility of existing services to the senior population with the goal of improving quality of life.
How do we do this?
By gathering information through home visits and phone calls we are able to assess current needs and make appropriate referrals to other programs and services.
What is a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Elder Abuse?
Given the complex nature of elder abuse, it is recognized that no one agency is equipped to deal with these cases, and for this reason this initiative is a coordination of supports and services that will increase the capacity to manage elder abuse cases within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Having this in place will create a safer, more secure environment for seniors in our region.
Why do we need a Coordinated Community Response to Elder Abuse?
Alberta’s population is aging.
By the year 2036, it is projected that there will be over one million seniors (those being 65+). Nearly one third of those seniors were born outside of Canada. Recent studies indicate that between 4–8% of older adults in Canada are likely to experience abuse in some form.
Elder abuse often goes unreported due to the complexity that comes with family/living dynamics.
Coordinated Community Response to Elder Abuse in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
As part of a larger provincial strategy to address Elder Abuse, St. Aidan’s Society was the lead organization for the Taking Action Against Elder Abuse Coordinated Community Response Grant, which supported the development or enhancement of coordinated community response models across Alberta.
Through a response model, community and government organizations work together to coordinate supports and services and increase their capacity to respond to elder abuse.
The Coordinated Community Response Model Working Group in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was established in September of 2015. Various organizations who were dealing with situations of seniors being abused were working independent of each other, and there was no formalized process or coordination of services.
Community partners were gathered to discuss elder abuse in the region and determine their commitment to creating a model that would enhance the capacity of the community to meet the increasing need, and better connect seniors to services and supports, which would prevent abuse and support a safe and secure community for seniors.
With the region having a lower than average number of seniors, most organizations provide services to all age groups, as opposed to specialized services for seniors. This created limited exposure to senior needs, as well as to issues regarding elder abuse and neglect. In order to provide a fuller understanding of elder abuse and coordinated community response across Alberta to all partners, information was compiled and provided to the working group in March of 2016.
In May of 2016, the Horse River Wildfire ravaged the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
After a mass evacuation of all residents, re-entry began in mid June of 2016. It became clear that the partner organizations would require time to re-group as there were major shifts happening within the non-profit sector to address the needs as a result of the wildfire. For this reason, the work of the Elder Abuse CCR was put on hold.
In November of 2016, the Working Group was reconvened and the commitment of organizations was reaffirmed and the work began once again. Major decision-makers from various organizations assisted in working cooperatively to complete this model. This has resulted in an elder abuse model, a memorandum of understanding, awareness materials, as well as a handbook. The continued work on Elder Abuse will be done by St. Aidan’s Society and partners on the Wood Buffalo Elder Abuse Network (WBEAN).
It is recognized that each of the rural communities within our region is unique and elder abuse response will need to be determined through conversations in those communities which will be part of the plan going forward.
For more information
Please contact Pam Burns at 780-743-4370 ext. 2.
Age Friendly Communities
St Aidan’s Society has been serving our Region and its’ citizens since 1973. We are bringing our long standing history of service delivery and advocacy to an exciting initiative; being part of establishing Fort McMurray as an Age Friendly community under the standards of the World Health Organization.
Age Friendly communities help our seniors live fuller, more active and healthier lives. Age friendly communities help prevent the neglect and abuse of older adults and increase the safety and wellbeing of seniors. An age friendly community fosters inclusion, fights ageism and provides equal opportunity for participation in community life.
With this in mind, the St Aidan’s team will work diligently with numerous stakeholders, community and of course older adults, as we strive to establish the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as an Age Friendly community.
Sometimes there are issues that are commonly experienced by seniors. Groups can be a safe and informative way for people to learn and understand more about their circumstances.
The focus of the Seniors Groups is to empower seniors through: