Saturday, December 16, 2017


Building A Safe Community for South Asian Seniors

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Elder abuse in South Asian families is of a growing concern that has become apparent to SSN from both their direct work with seniors and families, and through a collaborative cross-sectorial Ontario-wide project on Family Violence in the South Asian population which Social Services Network (SSN) leads. The proposed project on elder abuse sets out to develop a community development strategy that can be replicated across the country where large populations of South Asian people reside, such as Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg.

The primary goal of the project on elder abuse is to root this community development strategy in the four regions of Ontario – York, Toronto, Peel and Durham – where local sectors, provincial governmental and non-governmental organizations along with South Asian individuals, family caregivers, agencies and faith groups will be given the tools, activities, and guidance on how to integrate strategies to combat elder abuse in South Asian communities in their overall practices and programs.

Ultimately, the overall outcome that is expected of this project is that South Asian seniors will be less vulnerable to abuse and will have the resources that they need to leave abusive situations. This can be achieved by following three steps:

1) educate seniors on how to recognize abuse in their lives,

2) make them aware of what they can do to address that abuse and

3) engage in longer term safety planning towards increased independence and freedom from harm.

This strategy works with the diverse South Asian communities and key sectors in the development and implementation of a Tool Kit for organizing and facilitating workshops on the issue of violence against South Asian seniors. Workshops are targeted towards 6 South Asian groups in each community – Urdu speaking community, Hindi speaking community, Gujrati speaking community, Punjabi speaking community, Tamil community, and Pashtu/Farsi/Nepali combined language groups - in order to increase participation. 

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