Intercultural Awareness of Elder Abuse: Phase 1 Overview
From April 2010 to May 2011, Project Wisdom was funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, to work with South Asian and Middle Eastern communities in Guelph-Wellington to raise awareness of elder abuse, and to build the capacity of local service providers to provide appropriate services to culturally and linguistically diverse seniors. During this time, Project Wisdom has:
- Forged new partnerships that continue to thrive between agencies serving immigrants and seniors in Guelph-Wellington
- Built new relationships with South Asian and Middle Eastern community members and leaders
- Heard from senior community members about:
- Their understandings of what elder abuse is
- Their experiences with seniors services in Guelph-Wellington
- Heard from seniors’ health and social service providers about
- Their experiences providing service to culturally and linguistically diverse seniors
- Perceived gaps in resources, services, and knowledg
In response to what we learned from community members and service providers, Project Wisdom took the following actions:
- Hosted a public education lecture by Dr. Kenise Murphy Kilbride to raise awareness of the unique issues and challenges faced by senior immigrants which make them vulnerable to abuse and which call ‘traditional’ service solutions to abuse into question (see video of this talk here).
- Created a Seniors Service Resource Booklet that provides information about seniors’ services in Guelph-Wellington and about elder abuse to reduce isolation, increase connection with services, and raise awareness of elder abuse. This booklet is available in Hindi, Punjabi, Farsi, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese.
- Facilitated training for Seniors’ Service Providers to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by ethnocultural and immigrant seniors experiencing abuse, and on communicating effectively using an interpreter.
- Information and resources on integrating culture and immigration in to understandings of elder abuse and practice
- Information and resources on how to work more effectively with interpreters and access interpretation services
- A guide for anyone wishing to replicate Project Wisdom (or something similar) in their own community/agency
- Created a toolkit for Seniors Service Providers