THE ABUSE OF OLDER ADULTS AND THE LAW:
WHAT ISLANDERS NEED TO KNOW
In the fall of 2007 the New Horizons for Seniors Program of HRSDC put out a call for proposals for Elder Abuse Awareness projects. CLIA partnered with the Prince Edward Island Centre on Health and Aging, the PEI Senior’s Safety Program and the PEI Senior Citizens’ Federation to develop the project, The Abuse of Older Adults and the Law: What Islanders Need to Know. In the fall of 2008 our project was accepted and work began on October 6th. This is a three year project that will be completed in the fall of 2011.
The objectives of the project are:
- to develop a legal information strategy for older adults;
- to increase awareness/knowledge of legal responsibilities, obligations and resources, reducing vulnerability of seniors to abuse;
- and to develop multimedia resources for use in abuse prevention efforts.
Anne’s research has included a literature review, meetings with key informants and the design and circulation of two surveys, one for service providers and one for seniors. The surveys have been circulated across PEI and the data will be entered into a database. Focus groups are underway with service providers and seniors.
The service provider focus groups have involved:
- Adult protection workers
- Home care workers
- Family violence prevention services
- Long-term care management
- Alzheimer’s PEI
- Nursing staff
- Community care managers
Focus groups with seniors have involved:
- Community care residents
- The francophone community
- The aboriginal community
- Rural Islanders
- City residents
Phase one of the project will research what questions need answers about the abuse of older adults and the law. Methods will include interviews with key informants, questionnaires, focus groups and a literature review. There will also be an opportunity to network with the other Atlantic Provinces to share ideas and best practices.
Phase two will involve developing new resources, translating those resources, field-testing the material and producing information kits. In the final phase of the project a presentation team will take the new resources to seniors, their families and service providers across PEI in a ‘travelling road show’.
The Abuse of Older Adults and the Law will result in new resources for Islanders that will be updated and disseminated by the Community Legal Information Association as part of their mandate. This will reduce the vulnerability of seniors to abuse. The project will also strengthen existing networks of service providers to seniors.
All aspects of the project will be evaluated using a participatory model by an independent evaluator working with the project team. The evaluation will be built into the project planning and implementation process.