Flowers helping raise elder abuse awareness


Call them a colourful way to raise awareness.
Dozens of flowers have been distributed to long-term care facilities and seniors’ manors across the district to mark the province’s official Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Oct. 19.
The flowers—mainly mums and a few other varieties—have been provided by the local District Mental Health Services’ for Older Adults Program as a way to help “promote the dignity and respect of seniors,” explained Gerri Yerxa, who is with the program.
“It’s to provide an acknowledgement that elder abuse is out there,” Yerxa said, noting that five-10 percent of seniors can be experiencing elder abuse.
“It’s getting that info out there and seniors don’t have to live with abuse,” she stressed.
“It was something to be able to bring a little bit of life into the facilities or the manors,” Yerxa explained about why they chose to distribute the flowers to mark the day, adding they’re “eye-catching” and something everyone can appreciate.
“All seniors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” echoed Jolene Morrisseau, who also is with the Older Adults Program.
While physical abuse usually is the type of abuse seen on the news, she warned there are other types of abuse which exist—such as financial and emotional—that may be “hidden” but are “just as detrimental.”
Help also is available through the toll-free Senior Safety Line (1-866-299-1011), with more information available at the Ontario Network for Prevention of Elder Abuses’s website at
While the Older Adults Program does not directly deal with elder abuse, it is able to make referrals to those who need help.
Reach them by calling 274-9400 or toll-free 1-888-813-6503.