FCSS awarded provincial funding for elder abuse prevention

The funding will allow the organization to stay focused and get work done

The Sylvan Lake Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has received funding from the provincial government to spread the message of elder abuse prevention.

The FCSS will be using the money received to create a plan of action and implement the model created by a board.

Alissa McDonald, community development coordinator with the FCSS, says this is the third year the FCSS has received this funding.

“We’ve already received the first two years of funding, and this is the third. It will take us to December 2018,” said McDonald.

The FCSS will receive about $50,000 for the Elder Abuse Prevention Program. In total, the Government of Alberta is granting $1.5 million spread out over 31 communities.

The funding is from the Taking Action Against Elder Abuse Co-ordinated Community Response Grant program, which allows organizations to “address elder abuse through prevention strategies and increased safety measures.”

The FCSS will use the funding to create a model around how best to answer calls about elder abuse.

“We aren’t sure yet what the model will look like,” McDonald said. “We have a good group of people sitting around the table who are dedicated in the cause.”

With the funding from the government planned to last until December 2018, McDonald expects to see the prevention model developed by the members implemented in the community by January 2019.

“We will be working and talking with other communities surrounding Sylvan Lake, so the model will be wide reaching and effective for many people.”

If it wasn’t for the funding provided from the government, McDonald said the elder abuse prevention would not be done – or at least not to the extent is is currently.

This is because the program will now have a full-time coordinator who will see the project come to fruition.

The coordinator will be able to set up appointments and meetings, make the phone calls and send the emails. If there was no coordinator in place for the project a lot of the stuff that makes it all possible would not happen, said McDonald.

“A lot of it would get moved to the edge of the desk and never got to. This way we have someone responsible for it all.”

McDonald says the FCSS is grateful the Alberta Government is taking the interest and the initiative in protecting the province’s older citizens.

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing, says by creating a response model for dealing with the problem of elder abuse, the province will be creating a better life for “vulnerable seniors.”

“Seniors built this province and they deserve to retire in dignity,” Sigurdson said in a press release.

Those awarded the funding from the grant were announced on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.