Elder Abuse Prevention
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is on June 15. This awareness day was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
Sadly, elder abuse happens more often than any of us would like to think. It can be hard to get exact statistics on elder abuse because many are afraid to report it for fear of retaliation or the belief that nothing can be done. At Extendicare we encourage our residents in our long-term care and retirement homes and our ParaMed clients who receive care at home to speak up if they feel that they are not being treated the way they should be.
In our 2015 resident satisfaction survey that was carried out in our long-term care homes, 83% of residents told us that they felt they can express their opinion without fear of consequences, compared to an international average of only 72%. In that same survey, 90.4% of residents said that they were treated with respect and dignity, compared to 89.8% in the international studies. We are proud of these numbers but we are striving to get them even higher.
Extendicare is committed to providing an environment where all residents and clients are treated with dignity and respect and protected from all forms of abuse or neglect at all times. We have zero tolerance for abuse and our policy states that “any form of abuse by any person interacting with residents and clients, whether through deliberate acts or negligence, will not be tolerated.” This is shared with all of our staff members in orientation and with all of our residents, clients and families. We take this issue very seriously and we hope that others will join with us on June 15 to raise the profile of elder abuse and prevent it from happening to anyone anywhere.
By Paula Neves, Vice President – Quality and Healthcare Innovation