On Monday, June 15, 2020, communities and nations around the world will mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, including Eeyou Istchee. This day of action was created by the United Nations to name, explain, and draw attention, offer support and resources to the global problem of elder abuse. Elder abuse can take many forms. It is an act, or lack of action within a relationship where trust is expected, that causes harm or distress to an older person. It can be physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, or financial. It includes neglect, isolation, financial exploitation and abandonment.
Elder abuse is not an easy topic to discuss. Many people may not even be aware they are experiencing or causing it. Or, they may know something is wrong, and feel vulnerable, ashamed or embarrassed about their situation. Elders play an essential role in Cree culture, as knowledge keepers of our language, experiences, teachings and traditions. We are taught to respect our Elders. And yet, this form of abuse is still happening in our communities.
You can also download a tool for Elder Abuse Awareness, developed by the First Nations Commission in consultation with Elders from First Nations around Quebec. You can use this tool to better understand and share information with others about Elder abuse. To download the tool, go to this link: https://files.cssspnql.com/index.php/s/Pz52dG4N6MPztFp
Call To Action: On Monday, June 15, the Cree Health Board invites all members of our communities to show their support for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by wearing purple, and sharing a picture on Facebook, with these hashtags: #elderabuseawarenessday #honourourelders.
In Eeyou Istchee, we take a Cree approach to addressing these issues. The Cree Health Board wants to start a conversation to lead us towards a coordinated community response. This is a public health and human rights issue. We must all help each other respect and protect our Elders from abuse.
For more information, please contact:
Brenda L. House, PPRO, Elder Abuse DPSQA, Psychosocial