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May 29, 2012

Awareness is Key to Ending Elder Abuse

National News: Awareness is key to ending elder abuse, Minister Wong tells international audience
May 28, 2012
Footnote: Written by: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 

Prague, Czech Republic, May 28, 2012

The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), is meeting with international counterparts and stakeholders today to discuss and promote the interests of seniors, including the serious problem of elder abuse, at two international conferences.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is our opportunity to come together to put a spotlight on this critical issue facing all of our countries,” said Minister of State Wong. “Canada stands with the international community in its efforts to raise awareness, to more effectively measure the prevalence and to legislate tougher penalties for those who abuse seniors.”
Minister Wong gave opening remarks today at the 7th World Conference and Commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, hosted by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Tomorrow, she will provide greetings at the 11th Global Conference on Ageing: “Ageing Connects,” organized by the International Federation on Ageing.
As part of its ongoing commitment to address elder abuse, the Government of Canada continues to play an active role in addressing elder abuse through awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program and recently proposed legislation. The Government of Canada also continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address elder abuse and advance the overall well-being of seniors, taking into consideration the challenges of an aging population.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
•    introducing a new Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit to help Canada’s most vulnerable seniors. This is the largest increase in the GIS for the lowest-income seniors in 25 years. The measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada. It represents an investment of more than $300 million annually;
•    increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program in 2011 by $5 million for two years, bringing the Program’s annual budget to $45 million. The Program helps seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
•    providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada’s public pension system;
•    providing $2.5 billion this fiscal year in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as enabling pension-income splitting and increasing the Age credit;
•    providing $400 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
•    supporting positive and active ageing through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and fall-prevention initiatives;
•    appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)—someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
•    establishing October 1 as National Seniors Day to recognize the significant and ongoing contributions seniors make to families, communities, workplaces and society; and
•    ongoing action to address elder abuse including: awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes projects to raise awareness of elder abuse, and recently proposed legislation that would help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving abuse of elderly persons.
Find out more
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

SOURCE:    TheNorthumberlandandView, Canada
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