Speakers gather for World Elder Abuse Day event

by Lucie Roy

The Rotary Club of Morinville and Morinville FCSS held a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Lunch and Presentation on Friday at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.

The event included a presentation by Stephen Dafoe from Soaring Pig Studios and speakers Ruthann Weeks of Harmony Training & Development and Teresa Sutherland of Stop Abuse In Families (SAIF).

Dafoe spoke on the local seniors who took part in an Elder Abuse Awareness video project in 2018, and showed one of the videos from the project.

The Group Seniors Talking to Seniors took over the scripts and produced and directed the five videos.

The videos were shot in one day by Soaring Pig Studios with Smith Music coming in to record the audio.

In addition to awareness videos, the seniors’ group helped create two pamphlets, one for Morinville and one for Sturgeon County.

The topic this year was Isolation and Ruthann Weeks, CIRS. Harmony Training and Development spoke on Preventing Isolation, three types of elder abuse, signs of abuse, How to Help, Empathy versus Sympathy and Isolating Risk Factors.

“Elder Abuse, You are Not Alone,” was the title for the presentation from Teresa Sutherland of SAIF.

Sutherland covered the types of abuse, when Elders are most vulnerable, how to protect yourself, and what members of the public can do, See It, Name It and Check It.

Mary Benson, Community Services, Seniors Programmer, spoke on behalf of Morinville Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

Benson said,” Under the Morinville Strategic Plan Social Pillar we are committed to having Morinville continue to be recognized as a desirable community to live and work in with a high quality of life and are committed to having Morinville continue to be recognized as a friendly, safe and prepared community.”

Benson went on to say, “Morinville FCSS plays a role in the reduction of social isolation and help in reducing risks and increasing access to protective factors. The Senior Programmer works to provide excursions, workshops, programs and events but more importantly connects directly with seniors to provide them with resources and information that helps them to be self-sufficient.”

Benson mentioned the Senior at Home Program and how it continues to grow and develop the necessary programs within it to help our older adults sustain within their homes longer.
The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is held on June 15 and is an international UN observance day on the same date each year.

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