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Alberta Elder Abuse Day: Much Needs to be Done.

Home > Abuse & Neglect Studies Letters & Reports > Alberta Elder Abuse Day: Much Needs to be Done.

The Elder Advocates of Alberta Society issued this statement
recognizing Elder Abuse Day, June 15, 2022

During a time and an age when government popularity
and the concept of human rights are closely tied politically to
each other, Alberta’s seniors still suffer within our institutions.

The Elder Advocates of Alberta Society (EAAS) receives \
referrals about seniors who are victims of abuse under the auspices
of human rights legislation. EAAS executive director Ruth Adria says
that while Alberta’s MLAs will even refer cases to her, such referrals
are empty exercises of compassion when these same MLAs supported by
a bureaucratic system do not modify existing laws to better protect
seniors who are under attack in various ways.

In matters of assault, sometimes deadly assault or
neglect, there is no demand for accountability, nor is the criminal
code applied

The Elder Advocates receive no support from lawmakers
and others in remedying the underlying, causative issues such as
flawed legislation that allows for and even facilitates the mistreatment
of the elderly.”

MLA referrals to EAAS is a problem rich in irony because
the Provincial government has an outrageous decades-long history in
neglecting to enforce the kind of protections seniors need. The issue
is even richer given the fact its own website acknowledges the
historical importance of seniors’ contributions to society. Government
popularity, intuitively speaking, is well connected to the concept of
human rights but seniors are still vulnerable to the carnivorous eyes
of scheming siblings or even adult children

“Elder abuse legislation (as specific legislation) is
not even on the books,” Adria points out.

Every year between June 6 and 12 Alberta dedicates this
week to seniors as a token of recognition but EAAS continues to call
upon the province to address its lack of political will to address
specific grievances in a meaningful way.

In some instances, seniors have suffered loss of rights
such as access to bank accounts, legal counsel or access to caring
advocates when families turn on seniors over estate greed, using
improperly imposed competency assessments. Assessment protocols
are not stringent enough to scrutinize abuses, nor do the courts
give targeted seniors adequate protection from assessments of convenience.

They can result in extreme cases where seniors have been
relocated without the knowledge of advocates or declarations of
incompetency that results in losing entire life savings and estates.

Where abuse is connected the Province does not allow seniors the same
quality of rights as the criminal justice system allows to those
charged with serious crimes.

“Seniors rights diminish as they age,” Adria says.
“They are under threat because of exclusion resulting from age
discrimination. This can lead to an outright loss of rights if
the senior is inaccurately labelled incompetent by a system and a
process that can be (manipulated) by those who know how to misuse
and abuse the process,
collude together to rob seniors of the same
rights others enjoy in their younger years.”

The Elder Advocates are widely known as an elder
advocacy entity that deals exclusively with elder abuse issues
and/or mistreatment.