Elder Abuse Elgin planting seeds of change

June 21, 2018

Elder Abuse Elgin planting seeds of change
By Postmedia Network Staff
Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:17:17 EDT PM

It is estimated that in Elgin County at least 1,600 seniors are abused every year.

And experts believe that for every case of elder abuse that is reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.

“It is imperative that we find ways to halt this injustice, that has such a negative impact on the quality of life of our most vulnerable citizens,” remarked Bonnie Rowe, Chair of Elder Abuse Elgin, at a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) event held June 15 at the John Kenneth Galbraith Reference Library in Dutton.

Announcing a partnership with Elgin County Libraries, director of Community and Cultural Services for Elgin County Brian Masschaele welcomed the opportunity for the library system to support the rolling out of a county-wide public awareness strategy about Elder Abuse.

As a result of being awarded an Ontario Seniors Secretariat Seniors Community Grant, Elder Abuse Elgin will be enlisting volunteers to present training events for the general public, at the libraries in Elgin County.

Entitled, “It’s Not Right! – Neighbours, Friends, and Families for Older Adults”, the education events are geared to community bystanders.

Elder Abuse Elgin Committee coordinator Janet Given commented, “Bystanders can be the first person to notice that something is not right with a senior neighbor, friend or family member, but they often struggle with what they can or should do to help. These training sessions will guide them in offering support in a safe and respectful manner.”

Bringing supportive greetings at the WEADD recognition event, were Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio, and mayors Cameron McWilliam of Dutton Dunwich and Bernie Wiehle of West Elgin.

Elder Abuse Elgin is a non-profit group of organizations and seniors that has been working together for the past 20 years to address the issues of Elder Abuse in Elgin County. Education and public awareness are primary strategies that the group uses to combat Elder Abuse.

The first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was announced from the United Nations on June 15, 2006.

This year’s theme is entitled “Growing the Conversation to Prevent Elder Abuse”, and Elder Abuse Elgin intends to “Plant the Seeds of Change” to grow that conversation, by using their grant to hold conversations with the general public about how they can help to promote dignity and respect of older adults.

Dates and locations of the education events, which will begin in the fall, will be publicized as they are scheduled.

For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, or your group would like to host a presentation, please contact Janet Given at elderabuseelgin@gmail.com or 519-857-5171, or Bonnie Rowe at 519-639-5415.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was observed at the Dutton library on June 15. From left are: West Elgin Mayor Bernie Wiehle; Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio; Brian Masschaele, director of Community and Cultural Services for Elgin County; Janet Given, Elder Abuse Elgin Committee coordinator; Dutton Dunwich Mayor Cameron McWilliam; and Bonnie Row, chair of Elder Abuse Elgin. (Handout/Postmedia Network)