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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Being Marked in the Lakeland

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is this Thursday and several events are being planned around the Lakeland to bring awareness to the issue.

The Town of St Paul FCSS is encouraging everyone to wear purple on June 15th in solidarity with seniors and staff at the Lakeland Credit Union will be wearing purple to show support as well.  The County of Lac La Biche is holding a tea party in McArthur Park from 3 to 6 that day as well. Free transportation for seniors will be provided for the event. Call 780-623-6745 for more information.

According to Alberta Seniors and Housing, it’s estimated that 8 percent of seniors experience abuse across Canada. It can be difficult to get an accurate number though as many cases go unreported.  Some victims might feel shame or fear that prevents them from reporting and others might simply lack the capacity to do so.

Elder abuse can take on forms other than physical. In fact, financial and emotional abuse are the most frequently identified forms, with multiple types often taking place at the same time. The abuse is committed by a member of the victim’s family about a quarter of the time, usually a spouse or adult child.

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The Alberta government encourages everyone to learn the signs of elder abuse, which can include: confusion; depression or anxiety; unexplained injuries; changes in hygiene; seeming fearful around certain people; and fear or worry when talking about money.

The Alberta Elder Abuse Council has also written several fictionalized stories that highlight the different types of elder abuse and what they might look like to someone on the outside. If you think a senior in your life might be in an abusive situation or you are yourself, more resources are available by calling the Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 and by visiting www.seniors.alberta.ca.

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