• elder abuse

Elder Abuse

About Elder Abuse
Our Vision

For emergencies call 9-1-1

OrganizationPhone number
Rowan House Emergency Shelter 403-652-3311
Okotoks Family Resource Centre403-995-2626
High River FCSS403-652-8620
Distress Centre* (24 hours)403-266-4357

*The Distress Centre is a 24-hour crisis/support line that can connect you to: Calgary Seniors Resource Society - Seniors Connect Outreach Program, Alberta Health Services - Mobile Response Team for Mental Health, and the RCMP.

About Elder Abuse

A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse can take several forms including physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, spiritual, financial and material abuse, abandonment, neglect and serious loss of dignity and respect.

Elder abuse is complicated. It happens in many ways including:

  • Physical:  hitting, pushing, pinching
  • Financial: taking money or property
  • Emotional: name calling or scaring you
  • Sexual: unwanted touching or sexual contact

Elder abuse can happen to any older adult, regardless of:

  • Cultural or ethnic group
  • Physical or mental health
  • Socio-economic group

Who is responsible for preventing Elder Abuse?

Everyone. It is important to talk about elder abuse, how unacceptable it is and to let people know help is available. If someone discloses abuse to you, you see signs or if you suspect abuse, it is your responsibility to do something about it.

Our Vision

Older adults in Okotoks, High River, Turner Valley, Black Diamond, and the surrounding rural areas within Foothills County live in a safe, caring and responsive community where their rights, dignity and well-being are valued and they are free from abuse and neglect.

Elder abuse is everyone's responsibility. See it. Recognize the signs. Take action.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Help us grown the conversation

View the poster

See it: Abusive Behaviours

Elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Removing decision-making power while a person is able to make decisions for themselves
  • Over or under-administering medication
  • Refusing access to grandchildren
  • Withholding affection for manipulative purposes
  • Failing to prevent physical harm or seek medical assistance
  • Denying or ridiculing religious/spiritual beliefs
  • Treating the older adult like a child
  • Disrespect or lack of privacy
  • Denying social contacts
  • Unnecessary physical restraint
  • Failing to provide hygiene
  • Persuading an older adult to buy something or give away money
  • Misuse of money or property
  • Misusing power of attorney
  • Abuse of guardianship responsibilities
  • Withholding food, water, or medication
  • Failing to provide safe, warm, comfortable place to live
  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Deliberate exposure to severe weather
Recognize it: Signs of Abuse

Warning signs that could indicate elder abuse include:

  • Decline in general health, including confusion
  • Inappropriate or dirty clothing; poor hygiene 
  • Lack of, or poor condition of, dentures, glasses or hearing aids
  • Standard of living is not in keeping with income or assets; overdue bills
  • Unusual activity in bank account
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of social contact
  • Change in behaviour/mood in the presence of the person abusing/neglecting him/her
  • Depression/anxiety or agitation
  • Missing hair
  • Bruising, burns or bite marks
  • Untreated medical problems, irregular medical appointments, unexplained broken bones/fractures or a history of injuries
  • Changes in mental or physical ability
  • Pain
  • Harmed pets
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Recent incontinence
Take Action

Everyone has a responsibility to help keep older adults safe.

  • Learn about and recognize abuse
  • Watch for warning signs...report suspected elder abuse
  • Stay connected with older adults, their relatives, friends and neighbours
  • Know where to get help
Stay Safe

Older adults can do the following to protect themselves from abuse:

  • Stay socially connected
  • Protect your personal information
  • Seek out resources
  • Tell someone you trust if you aren't being treated properly 
  • Always call 9-1-1 if you need emergency assistance
Who we are

The Foothills Elder Abuse Coordinated Community Response (CCR) is a network of local organizations working together to prevent and address elder abuse in our community.

The network includes the following organizations:


This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program

Publications & Forms