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CBHSSJB adopts policy to address the abuse of elders and vulnerable adults in Eeyou Istchee


Elders play an important role in our communities as the keepers of language, tradition and culture, so it is difficult to accept that they might also be the victims of abuse


Like other forms of abuse, the mistreatment of Elders and vulnerable adults, sometimes called elder abuse, is a problem rarely talked about. This is starting to change.

Earlier this year, Grand Chief Abel Bosum proclaimed June 15, 2020, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Eeyou Istchee in which he pledged the Cree Nation would take action to eradicate and prevent the mistreatment of elders and vulnerable adults.

Since then, the CBHSSJB has adopted the Cree Health Board Policy on Mistreatment of Vulnerable Adults. 

The aim of the policy is to combat mistreatment and to help people free themselves from abusive situations.

Having the tools to report abuse is part of a wider CBHSSJB commitment to create programs and services that protect elders and promote healthy aging in Eeyou Istchee. We are also training front line workers to detect and assess elderly clients for abuse. 

We encourage elders in distress to call the Wiichihiiwaauwin Helpline. Cree-speaking counsellors and traditional healer are available to provide advice and support. The line is confidential, so callers can be confident that their conversation will be private.

Ageing well also means staying close to family and traditions. Elders’ Homes are under construction in Mistissini, Chisasibi and Waskaganish that will reduce the need to send Elders to long-term care facilities in the south.

To develop the policy and procedures, the Cree Health Board worked with stakeholders across Eeyou Istchee, including the Cree Nation Government’s Justice Department--CAVAC, Eeyou Eenou Police Force, Nishiiyuu Council of Elders, and Cree Health Board workers who provide services to Elders, such as MSDC and front-line workers.

The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of the Office of the Commissioner of Complaints.

The aim of the policy is to combat mistreatment and to help people free themselves from abusive situations.

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Get Help

Here is what you can do if you or a loved one is a victim of mistreatment:

  • If the person is in immediate danger, call First Responders in your community.
  • If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or just need someone to talk to, call the 24-hour Wiichihiiwaauwin Helpline. Counsellors and traditional healers are available to support you and connect you to the right services.
  • If you would like to report the mistreatment of a vulnerable adult, including an elder, who receives health or social services through the Cree Health Board, either in one of its facilities or through in-home services, contact the Office of the Commissioner of Complaints.

Wiichihiiwaauwin (Mental Health) Helpline

Service available 24/7. Cree speakers and Elders are available upon request 


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