by Morinville News Staff
In 2016, Sturgeon Victim Services provided some numbers in a presentation on crime statistics. Within the report were high numbers on theft and fraud, family violence and domestic abuse. During a subsequent Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch meeting, an RCMP member reinforced the number of abuse cases in the area.
Elder abuse is not easy to detect. If a daughter or son tells their elderly parents do not call me or else I will not see you at Christmas it is abuse. To not allow your parents that live with you to go out or socialize is abuse. To convince them to give you their money and it causes them grief and guilt is abuse.
As a result of the need for awareness on elder abuse, the Rotary Club of Morinville applied for a New Horizon for Seniors Program to undertake an awareness campaign.
The Rendez-Vous Centre and seniors lodges were approached to see if they would take part in the awareness campaign.
After multiple discussions, it was decided to raise awareness through a series of short skits or plays about elder abuse.
The original idea was to perform the skits on stage, but transportation costs and senior availability eliminated the idea in favour of performing the awareness skits by video, which could then be shown lodge by lodge.
The group became Seniors Talking to Seniors. After the grant was approved, the group was transported to the Rendez-Vous Centre for a day of chatting about who would take on what roles and what the skits would ultimately be.
The first walkthrough had cue cards, but that did not last long. Then the seniors took over with rewriting the scripts. A daughter that was stealing from her mom became a friend. After revisions and rewrites, the project truly became the seniors’ own creation.
The videos were shot in one day by Soaring Pig Studios with Smith Music coming in to record all the audio. After the initial shoot, the two companies edited the multiple takes into short awareness segments, added the background music, audio engineering, and sound effects as neeed.
In addition to the awareness videos, the senior’s group then wanted a pamphlet with info – BUT not internet or google material – actual local phone numbers they can call for assistance.
The pamphlet will soon be in its second printing and will be dispersed at doctor’s office, clinics, lodges, seniors centres and retail outlets.
The videos were shown June 15 at a special event in Morinville on Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The videos will be next be shown to seniors and discussed in Gibbons on July 17.
A second pamphlet for residents of Sturgeon County is also to be printed and made available in September when the videos are scheduled to be shown in Redwater.