City Releases Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy 

For Immediate Release
6/15/2018 
Contact: Maria Visocchi, Director, Communications & Community Engagement 
Phone: 519-759-4150 

BRANTFORD, ON – Friday June 15th, 2018 will mark the 7th annual observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, and their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder-friendly policies.

On Tuesday, June 12th, the City of Brantford released a new Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy to address this complex issue. The prevention of Elder Abuse has been identified as a health and wellness priority by the community, and in February 2018, a Council-approved recommendation from the Healthy Brantford Task Force directed staff to support the development of a community-based elder abuse prevention strategy. Staff worked closely with stakeholders to develop Right Now: A Community Strategy to Prevent and Address Elder Abuse.

Brantford is one of the first communities in Ontario to develop a strategy specifically focusing on the incidence and impact of elder abuse. The committee engaged in extensive consultation with older adults, caregivers, service providers and private and public health care professionals. To implement the recommendations within the strategy, Victim Services Brant and the City of Brantford worked with Nova Vita, Elder Abuse Ontario, Comfort Keepers, and the Ontario Provincial Police partnered to secure a Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Safer and Vital Communities Grant of $68, 950 to develop the Brant Elder Abuse Response (BEAR) project.

The BEAR project has three goals: develop community response protocols to address elder abuse; increase the capacity of local organizations to identify and address elder abuse; and empower and educate older adults on their rights and how they can prevent and intervene in abuse situations. City staff are working proactively to ensure Brantford’s seniors remain included in the social and economic life of their community, which is a significant protective factor against elder abuse.

The City of Brantford, through initiatives such as Safe Brantford and Healthy Brantford, is providing leadership in bringing partners together to address complex community safety issues. Since releasing the Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy in November 2017, initiatives such as the Needle Exchange Program Expansion, Comprehensive Opioid Monitoring and Alert System, Youth-Designed Drug Education, and more, have been implemented to reduce the incidence and impact of substance use in Brantford. This strong early progress is a result of the strategy providing a better understanding of the role the municipality plays in developing long-term safety plans.

Beginning in January 2019, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is mandating that all municipalities develop a Community Safety and Well-being Plan. City of Brantford staff worked with the Ministry to develop toolkits for these plans that will be provided by other communities in the province.

Digital copies of both the Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy and Right Now: A Community Strategy to Prevent and Address Elder Abuse can be found at brantford.ca/SafeBrantford.

Quotes

“Brantford has an important leadership role to play on these issues. As evidenced by how the Strategy was developed, we will continue to bring together community experts to further the objectives of the plan and advocate to other levels of government to ensure we have the required funding to implement.”

Mayor Chris Friel, City of Brantford

“I’m pleased to see the Elder Abuse Strategy come forward through the City’s Healthy Brantford initiative. This is a priority for our community, and a great example of the City working with partners to bring funding and resources to prevent instances of elder abuse in our community.”

Councillor Richard Carpenter, Chair of the Elder Abuse Awareness Committee

Media Contact:
Heather Carvalho, Communications Specialist, Communications and Community Engagement | City of Brantford | Office: 519.759.4150 Ext. 5741 | hcarvalho@brantford.ca