Preventing Elder Abuse

Written by Submitted

With elder abuse incidents rising across the province, Laura Lee Machell-Cunningham (right), and Kneehill Elder Abuse Prevention Committee members, Sharon Whitehead, Christina Trudel, and Seniors Outreach volunteer Joanne Desrosiers, ran an information table in Peters Pharmacy Fri. June 15 in Three Hills. Pharmacy owner Peter Tiong donated space for the table. ECA Review/D.Nadeau

Fancy purple awareness bows on Main Street lamp posts, purple lapel ribbons, purple candies, napkins, and cookies on information tables.
How about purple bruises?
There is, unfortunately, according to Three Hills’ Laura Lee Machell-Cunningham, the possibility that a senior in your community has, is, or will suffer some form of elder abuse.
While the abuse might not result in bruises, the pain or distress can be as real and as devastating.
Abuse, said Machell-Cunningham, can be physical, mental, medication or, more prevalent than any other, financial.
Machell-Cunningham chairs an elder abuse prevention committee under the auspices of Seniors Outreach, a Kneehill County-wide service provider.
The committee administers a $100,000 two-year provincial grant that seeks to educate other service providers as to what resources are available and which resources still need to be developed.
In addition to forming a 25-member–five municipality—Acme, Trochu, Carbon, Linden, Three Hills—elder abuse prevention committee, Machell-Cunningham, community partners, and committee members staffed information tables on Fri. June 15 in all five municipalities.
A skeptical visitor at the Three Hills information table asked, “Surely in our area there isn’t an abuse problem. Consider all our churches…”
Machell-Cunningham was quick to reply by saying, “Our committee did presentations in each Kneehill Council municipality and every time, without fail, someone came to us after the session to disclose some form of elder abuse.
It is a situation we not only have to be aware of, but must be diligent not to be party to it or to be hiding it.”

David Nadeau
ECA Review

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