Presentation on theme: "Elder Abuse & Neglect in the Chinese Community"— Presentation transcript:
1 Elder Abuse & Neglect in the Chinese Community Presented byCarefirst Seniors & Community Services Association2009 ONPEA ConferenceNovember 03, 2009
2 Presentation Outline About Carefirst Rationale for Elder Abuse Prevention & Intervention ProgramService Delivery ModelProgram HighlightsOutputs and OutcomesImpact and ChallengesQuestions 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 ProgramElder abuse within the Chinese community - an untouched and unexplored issue2006 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 valuesChange of lifestyle, family pattern (e.g. nuclear Vs extended family)Change of social/economic statusNewcomer 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 ofNot being filial – sin, despised upon, guiltFolklores – gods help those who are filial and pious孝
7 Research BackgroundResearch on elder abuse in the Chinese community is virtually non-existentResearch with support from University of Toronto –“In Disguise: Elder Abuse and Neglect within Chinese Community” in 2002Elder 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 neglectApproximately 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 FindingsCommon Forms of Elder Abuse and Neglect within Chinese community in Toronto area:Disrespect, the most notable from of abuse that emergedVerbal Threats and HumiliationMovement and Space RestrictionsProvide Necessities onlyFinancial Abuse which occurred mainly through access and Control of seniors’ financesPhysical 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 ActivitiesSupplementary Support ServicesCaregiver Support GroupsExpand the level and scope of homecare servicesFund community agencies for social, recreational and educational programs to prevent elder abuse and neglectProvide 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 WorkMonitoring by trained volunteer counselors with the support of staffOperating Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pmProvide information and resources to callers on elder abuse preventionProvide peer supportive counseling for seniors, caregivers, and victims of elder abuseProvide 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 abuseSkits are written by the volunteer seniorsPerformance and role play different issues relating to the common forms of abuse in the Chinese community at different workshops, community events, and outreach activitiesVivid, 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 CommunityOn-going delivery in libraries, churches, community centres, and senior buildings.For Health Care ProfessionalsTo increase elder abuse awareness among health care professionals such as nurses and personal support workers.
15 Case work Counselling Service Brief Solution-focused CounselingStay close to client’s own definition of the issueClient is the one to make the changeNegotiate a problem that can be solved realisticallyInvolve family members where appropriate
16 Outputs From Sept. 2008 – August 2009 46 new cases in Toronto and York48 workshops were delivered in Toronto, York and Mississauga areas with 1732 participantsAbout 150 health professionals participated in the educational workshops18 senior volunteers joined the drama club
17 Outcomes From Sept. 2008 – August 2009 42% have never heard of the topic of Elder Abuse before97% have better understanding on the topic94% feel a more positive attitude towards the topic95% are more aware of available community resources91%will now be more comfortable/willing to seek help if encountering the issue98% feel the workshop topic meets their expectation72% will attend future workshops with related topics
18 Impact Individual senior Empower victims and at-risk seniors to protect themselvesImprove the capacity of victims and at-risk seniors in accessing needed resourcesEnhance self-reliance and independencyImprove daily functioning and well-being
19 Impact Family / caregiver Community Reduce tension among family membersIncrease hormonal relationship among family membersCommunityIncrease public and professional awareness about the prevention of elder abuse and neglect within the Chinese CommunityIncrease clients’ service accessibility
20 ChallengesIndividuals’ unwillingness or fear to report and ask for helpLimited Funding to deliver and sustain a long-term Still an “Untouched” topic for many familiesUnavailability of ethno specific intensive counseling serviceLack of ethno and linguistic appropriate emergency shelters for abused Chinese seniorsInadequate comprehensive programLack of coordination and collaboration among agencies and other stakeholdersNon-existence of bills to cover elder abuse in a more comprehensive way
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