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Free workshop addresses elder abuse problems

Many people shrug off the idea of elder abuse, thinking ‘that doesn’t happen to me, or anyone I know.’ The term abuse, however, refers to a number of types of mistreatment including emotional abuse, abuse by neglect and financial abuse, rather than simply the physical form that commonly comes to mind.

Following World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, marked June 15, the Wilmot Family Violence Action Committee will address the issue of elder abuse this Wednesday at a community forum entitled “Aging with Honour, Dignity and Respect” at the Nithview Community Auditorium in New Hamburg.

“We knew this event was going to be an important one just by looking at the demographics,” explained committee member Don Scott. “We baby boomers are not getting any younger. In the not-too-distant future, the country is going to have a lot of retirees and seniors; the concern is with increased numbers of elderly will come a higher incidence of victimization.”

The event features the Harmony Interactive Theatre Troupe and the Waterloo Region Elder Abuse Response Team. Through interactive drama and dialogue, the audience will consider elder rights within our community and prevention strategies for personal well-being.

“We are hoping to get a good turnout from the senior community,” said Scott. “It’s important to know what’s going on out there, how to identify a situation of abuse, and what services are available to assist people who might be victims.”

“The community is pivotal to preventing elder abuse and respecting elder rights,” said Karen Dymond, program coordinator. “A caring community respects the needs and rights of all of its community members.”

The event is open to everyone. It will be held on June 23, 1:30-3:30 p.m., in the Nithview Community Auditorium, 200 Boulee St., New Hamburg. The event is free and refreshments will be served. To register, contact Dymond at the Wilmot Family Resource Centre at 519-662-2731, ext. 201 or by e-mail at fvpp4wfrc@bellnet.ca.

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