Taking action against elder abuse
June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This United Nations initiative is aimed at raising awareness about the suffering and abuse that seniors sadly face all around the world, including here in Quebec.
I’ve never tolerated abuse in any form whatsoever, whether it’s physical, psychological or financial, whoever the victim, and whatever their age, sex or origin. Therefore, it goes without saying that at Le Groupe Maurice we have a zero tolerance policy toward elder abuse.
Employees always at the forefront
This begins with awareness and constant vigilance by the teams at Le Groupe Maurice, which is why all new employees are given a code of ethics. The code is based on two principles which I consider fundamental: benevolence and well-treatment toward the elderly. I believe this is a much more positive philosophy to apply when we want to fight against abuse. That’s simply because it explains how to take the right actions, at the right time, in order to reduce the risk of abuse to a minimum.
Our aim is to embody the attitudes and behaviour we believe should guide our relationships with the elderly. Respect for residents’ privacy, establishing cordial relationships with the them and protecting seniors from all forms of exploitation, abuse, intimidation and violence are just some examples.
In addition, a list of key behaviours expected of all employees is displayed in the common areas of care units in each residence. In this way, employees as well as families and friends of residents are informed of the values fostered by Le Groupe Maurice. It’s a commitment to safety and peace of mind.
Going above and beyond the law
On May 30, 2017, Quebec adopted a new law aimed at fighting abuse against the elderly and other vulnerable adults. The law went into force on April 5 of this year. Since then, private seniors’ residences have had to comply with a code of ethics to obtain certification.
«I’m pleased to say that at Le Groupe Maurice, we’ve been enforcing an even more comprehensive code of ethics for many years.» Luc Maurice
We also have a program in place to identify healthcare needs in each of our residences. This enables us to maintain up-to-date records of residents’ health, concerns, needs and expectations. Understanding the everyday reality of residents is a key way to remain on the lookout for abuse.
Finally, the program regularly invites local police to speak to residents and meet their families. These exchanges provide opportunities to raise awareness of abuse in all forms, including fraud, and to provide resources. I believe this is essential because it facilitates access to resources in the event of a problem.
Contributing to the happiness of Québec’s seniors
Fighting abuse is a goal shared by the Luc Maurice Foundation. The Foundation supports multiple initiatives including Un vélo une ville (community transport assistance for the elderly), the On sort-tu? movement and the Little Brothers organization, all of which fight social isolation among the elderly, which is considered one of the major risk factors for elder abuse. It also supports research by the Fondation Institut de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) and the Tel-Écoute Tel-Aînés helpline, which lends an attentive ear to people in distress. And these are just a few of the initiatives currently underway or forthcoming.
Beyond respect for the rights and needs of seniors, my commitment to the fight against elder abuse is fundamentally tied to my philosophy that every individual deserves to live in a safe, calm and peaceful environment. I devote all my energy to that goal, day after day.
To learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:
Elder abuse helpline:
Ligne 1-800-abus aînés (toll free)