April 1, 2013
An association that defends the rights of public-sector retirees in Quebec is pushing for new legislation that would require employees of nursing homes and members of professional orders to report elder abuse to authorities.
The Parti Québécois pledged during last summer’s provincial election campaign to launch a series of consultations that would lead to such a law being enacted in the province.
Now, the Association québécoise des retraité(e)s des secteurs public et parapublic is asking Health Minister Réjean Hébert to follow through on that promise.
“We are asking minister Hébert to solidify the commitments his party made to seniors in Quebec,” association president Lyne Parent said in a release on Monday afternoon.
The association’s request comes only days after Hébert announced a new public awareness campaign targeting elder abuse in Quebec. The campaign, which will include television and radio spots as well as posters and online materials, kicked off on Sunday and will run for five weeks. It is part of a larger government action plan designed to reduce the number of elderly Quebecers who suffer abuse at the hands of family members or caregivers.
Studies have shown that up to seven per cent of seniors in Quebec have experienced some form of abuse, be it physical, verbal, emotional or financial.
A confidential help line ( 1-888-489-2287) was also set up in October 2010 to assist seniors in distress. As of February 2013, it had received 10,677 calls. In 43 per cent of cases, the caller was a women age 70 to 89, and in 52 per cent of cases, the abuser was a member of the senior’s family.
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SOURCE: The Montreal Gazette
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