How to help victims of elder abuse

By Robert Mackenzie
Published Sept. 5 2017

Haliburton Highlands Health Services is looking to start a conversation about elder abuse and fraud in Haliburton at the Need to Know information session Sept. 27

It’s Not Right is the title of the two upcoming presentations that will focus on protecting elders from abuse and fraud and is the latest in the Haliburton Highlands’ Community Education Series. These Need to Know sessions bring social and health related topics of interest to the attention of the community according to community education and outreach representative Sheri McKeen.

The upcoming talks will be held at 2 p.m. in the Wilberforce Legion and at 6 p.m. in the Haliburton Highlands Museum.

Shauna MacEachern of the Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Elder Abuse Prevention Network will give a presentation about the importance of starting a conversation with victims of elder abuse and what other steps bystanders can take to help.

According to McKeen one of the best things a bystander can do in a situation like this is to acknowledge and be aware of the abuse.

“A lot of times people are very reluctant to get involved because they don’t think it’s any of their business or because they think it’s a much bigger issue” McKeen said. “Knowledge is power and the more that we’re able to educate each other and others in the community about what is elder abuse

and where to get help makes a big difference.”

Haliburton Highlands OPP community service officer Dianna Dauphinee will be giving a presentation on the current fraud trends and common scams along with how to make your home less vulnerable to those scams.

McKeen said that presentations like this are especially important in a community like Haliburton with a large aging and retired population. “[Elder abuse education] is important in all communities but Haliburton County in particular based on the demographics.

And there can be a lot of isolation based on geography which can be a barrier to someone who needs to get help.”