The Elder Mistreatment Helpline: an essential resource encountering elder abuse in Quebec
In 2016, the Elder Mistreatment Helpline (Ligne Aide Abus Aînés in French) registered the greatest increase in consultation requests since the launch of this service, which is now considered as an essential resource encountering elder abuse in Quebec.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services recently published its Analysis of the Efficency of the Line, which states that the helpline “has proved to be very positive in terms of the services that are offered to the public and to other professionals”, says Service Coordinator Sylvie Bouchard.
In operation since October 2010, the helpline was one element in a government action plan to counter elder
abuse. The helpline meets a need, as much for the public as for social workers who interact with the elderly.
The helpline also offers consultations for professionals who encounter an abusive situation in course of their work.
“The fact that the volume of calls to the Elder Mistreatment Helpline increased in 2016 demonstrates the urgent need for this essential service,” says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of CIUSSS WestCentral
“The helpline, a service that our network is proud to provide to all Quebecers, will continue to experience even greater demand, as the proportion of elderly citizens in society continues to increase.”
Terms and conditions of the Elder Mistreatment Helpline
Any affected individual (older adult, caregiver, family member, practitioner, etc.) may call the helpline between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 7 days a week. They will speak to a social worker (or the equivalent) specialized in elder mistreatment, who can:
- listen and offer support
- provide information
- complete a phone assessment of the situation
- carry out crisis and emergency intervention
- make follow-up phone calls, if necessary
- refer them to the most appropriate organization, if necessary
- provide a professional consultation service to practitioners