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Elder Abuse & Neglect in the Chinese Community

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Presentation on theme: "Elder Abuse & Neglect in the Chinese Community"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elder Abuse & Neglect in the Chinese Community
Presented by Carefirst Seniors & Community Services Association 2009 ONPEA Conference November 03, 2009

2 Presentation Outline About Carefirst
Rationale for Elder Abuse Prevention & Intervention Program Service Delivery Model Program Highlights Outputs and Outcomes Impact and Challenges Questions and Answers

3 About Carefirst Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association
 Established since 1976  Full range of community support services  Service catchment – Greater Toronto and surrounding areas  Clientele – Ethno-specific for Chinese seniors and people in need  Language - Cantonese, Mandarin, other Chinese dialects  Accredited by Accreditation Canada

4 Rationale for Program Elder abuse within the Chinese community - an untouched and unexplored issue 2006 Statistics Canada Report, Chinese being one of the largest visible minority populations in the Greater Toronto Area: Richmond Hill – 22.3 % Markham – 35.5% Scarborough – 35% North York – 17.7 % City of Toronto – 12.5% Lack of ethno-specific services in the Chinese community in Toronto to address the elder abuse issue

5 Stressors for Canadian Chinese Seniors
Theory of “double jeopardy” Value discrepancy with Adult children - Canadianized values Change of lifestyle, family pattern (e.g. nuclear Vs extended family) Change of social/economic status Newcomer Chinese seniors – dependent, language and cultural barriers

6 Chinese Traditional Values
Confucius – “Hao” (filial piety) Elders – authority, family head, controller, decision maker (e.g. divorce the wife if the parents don’t like her) Elders - Respect, obey, taken care of Not being filial – sin, despised upon, guilt Folklores – gods help those who are filial and pious

7 Research Background Research on elder abuse in the Chinese community is virtually non-existent Research with support from University of Toronto – “In Disguise: Elder Abuse and Neglect within Chinese Community” in 2002 Elder abuse generally refers to “any action or inaction that jeopardizes the health and well-being of an older person.” Different types of abuse: financial, physical, psychological and neglect Approximately 4-10% of seniors experience abuse ( Chinese elderly in Toronto CMA) This is a working definition. There is some ongoing debate about what constitutes elder abuse, but basically there are some basic types. Often no clear cut boundaries between types and often abuse is hidden or disguised, as is referred to in the title of this report. In our research wanted to include a range of acts considered abuse to see what it looks like for Chinese, and concentrate on what conditions associated with their occurrence. We know elder abuse and neglect occur across ethnic populations. (Even a conference in 1997 dedicated to Elder Abuse in minority communities in the US). Mainly previous research looked at different ethnic groups and how they differ in their perceptions of what constitutes elder abuse. There was a recent study of Chinese elder abuse in Hong Kong, which found (very high) prevalence rate of 21% verbal abuse, 2% physical abuse. (Abused elders had higher level of psychological distress and more dependent on caregivers.) (Prevalence and Psychological Impact of Chinese Elder Abuse ELSIE YAN, CATHERINE SO-KUM TANG, JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, Vol. 16 No. 11, November 2001) Being Chinese elderly in Hong Kong also different from situation of older Chinese immigrants in Canada. These studies confirm that differences exist among ethno-racial groups in how abuse in defined. However, inability to understand social structural conditions (of being immigrant, of being visible minority, of being older person, of being poor older person) interacting with cultural contexts that facilitate abuse.

8 Research Findings Common Forms of Elder Abuse and Neglect within Chinese community in Toronto area: Disrespect, the most notable from of abuse that emerged Verbal Threats and Humiliation Movement and Space Restrictions Provide Necessities only Financial Abuse which occurred mainly through access and Control of seniors’ finances Physical Abuse

9 Causal Factors of Abuse
Social, Structural and Environmental Factors  Isolation and Extreme Loneliness  Immigrant and Settlement issues  Financial Hardship for Immigrant Families  Taking Care of ill elderly is Hard Work  Traditional Chinese Values and Beliefs about Family and Care

10 Strategies Proposed by Research
Education and Awareness Activities Supplementary Support Services Caregiver Support Groups Expand the level and scope of homecare services Fund community agencies for social, recreational and educational programs to prevent elder abuse and neglect Provide consultation services to agencies serving seniors

11 Carefirst Elder Abuse Intervention Model
Client Stratification Practice Model to develop different programs to address different levels of abuse issue

12 Program Highlights Chinese Elder Abuse Helpline
Training program designed by U. of Toronto’s School of Social Work Monitoring by trained volunteer counselors with the support of staff Operating Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm Provide information and resources to callers on elder abuse prevention Provide peer supportive counseling for seniors, caregivers, and victims of elder abuse Provide referrals to other services

13 Program Highlights Chinese Elder Abuse Drama Club
A volunteer-led group aims to engage the seniors to take an active role in outreach and educate the community on elder abuse Skits are written by the volunteer seniors Performance and role play different issues relating to the common forms of abuse in the Chinese community at different workshops, community events, and outreach activities Vivid, effective and culturally specific way to outreach and disseminate relevant information to the Chinese seniors

14 Program Highlights Elder Abuse Educational Workshops
For general public in the Community On-going delivery in libraries, churches, community centres, and senior buildings. For Health Care Professionals To increase elder abuse awareness among health care professionals such as nurses and personal support workers.

15 Case work Counselling Service
Brief Solution-focused Counseling Stay close to client’s own definition of the issue Client is the one to make the change Negotiate a problem that can be solved realistically Involve family members where appropriate

16 Outputs From Sept. 2008 – August 2009
46 new cases in Toronto and York 48 workshops were delivered in Toronto, York and Mississauga areas with 1732 participants About 150 health professionals participated in the educational workshops 18 senior volunteers joined the drama club

17 Outcomes From Sept. 2008 – August 2009
42% have never heard of the topic of Elder Abuse before 97% have better understanding on the topic 94% feel a more positive attitude towards the topic 95% are more aware of available community resources 91%will now be more comfortable/willing to seek help if encountering the issue 98% feel the workshop topic meets their expectation 72% will attend future workshops with related topics

18 Impact Individual senior
Empower victims and at-risk seniors to protect themselves Improve the capacity of victims and at-risk seniors in accessing needed resources Enhance self-reliance and independency Improve daily functioning and well-being

19 Impact Family / caregiver Community
Reduce tension among family members Increase hormonal relationship among family members Community Increase public and professional awareness about the prevention of elder abuse and neglect within the Chinese Community Increase clients’ service accessibility

20 Challenges Individuals’ unwillingness or fear to report and ask for help Limited Funding to deliver and sustain a long-term Still an “Untouched” topic for many families Unavailability of ethno specific intensive counseling service Lack of ethno and linguistic appropriate emergency shelters for abused Chinese seniors Inadequate comprehensive program Lack of coordination and collaboration among agencies and other stakeholders Non-existence of bills to cover elder abuse in a more comprehensive way

21 Carefirst Elder Abuse Helpline

22 Questions and Answers Thank You!

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