Sylvan Lake FCSS has been approved for a $100,000 grant which will be used to help combat elder abuse in the community and surrounding areas.
The grant money will be issued over the next three years, which will be used to hire an Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator, according to Alissa McDonald, community development coordinator.
“The Coordinator will also research and create Elder Abuse Awareness resources to develop an information tool box to share with each community coalition,” McDonald said in an email.
The funds from the grant will be used to create awareness campaigns, training sessions, events, distribution of resource materials and an increased presence on social media on the subject.
McDonald says moving into Year Three of the funding the coordinator will work with the Coordinated Community Response and the Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence to create a sustainability plan for continuation of the program once the funding is complete.
“Elder abuse is not often spoke about as it is usually by someone the senior trusts. We need to bring awareness to community members and service providers to help minimize elder abuse,” said McDonald.
All information, campaigns and awareness programs created through the next three years will be compiled and shared with the 16 other communities that are a part of Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence through the Centres for Positive Relationships.
The Centres for Positive Relationships will be hosting “It’s Not Right – Neighbours, Friends, and Family Bystander” training sessions as well, with the help of this grant.
Sylvan Lake has worked hard to combat elder abuse through the Community Coordinated Response and working with other communities, McDonald said.
“The goal is to develop a coordinated response to Elder Abuse in all communities. By working together we can strive to reach a common goal to provide awareness, prevention strategies, increase safety and security, information, resources and referrals relating to Elder Abuse.”
In the past, Sylvan Lake FCSS has applied for the New Horizons for Seniors Grant to address elder abuse prevention.
Some other work being done by FCSS to address the problem of elder abuse include a mentoring program, creating a “seniors wisdom bench,” an inter-generational walk called Walk the Talk and an Inter-generational Conference planned for 2020.
“The goal is to create awareness and resource materials and provide educational opportunities for front line workers and community members,” said McDonald.