Elder abuse occurs in every country in the world but unfortunately with little government action. Less than a third of governments worldwide have implemented any sort of strategy to detect, educate or combat elder abuse. Currently no international human rights standards or conventions on freedom from abuse in older age are in place. According to HelpAge International, this is due in part to the lack of awareness of elder abuse. This year, 41 campaign partners from 36 countries are raising their voices to highlight the dangerous invisibility of elder abuse.
Isolated seniors can be more at risk of abuse, especially financial, than seniors who are surrounded by family and friends. The Canadian government is active in Elder Abuse Awareness and offers a range of resources at http://www.seniors.gc.ca/eng/pie/eaa/index.shtml.
The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse connects people and organizations, fosters the exchange of reliable information, and advances program and policy development to prevent the abuse of older adults (http://cnpea.ca).
HelpAge Canada’s RISE campaign (Reach Isolated Seniors Everywhere) is aimed at raising awareness of this issue and encouraging Canadians of all ages to take action.