Making life safer for seniors is the theme of several senior abuse awareness activities being held across the province this month. “It is very important that families, friends and citizens in our communities are aware of the signs of senior abuse so it can be recognized and prevented,” said Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Seniors. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse reports that abuse of seniors is largely underestimated, not easily recognized and often goes unreported throughout the world. Senior abuse can be defined as physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, and neglect. Abuse can occur within relationships where there is an expectation of trust. Some of these relationships include family, intimate partners, adult children, grandchildren, friends, a care worker, or paid person who is providing services in an older adult’s home. “We hope that everyone will take the opportunity to learn more about this very concerning issue because many seniors are vulnerable to abuse,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “We all play a role in raising awareness and preventing senior abuse.” The Department of Seniors will co-host and sponsor seventeen events throughout the province. Many of the events will coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15. Community-led events are also being held across the province. Some activities include presentations, speakers and displays. For information on all the events visit the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/seniors or call toll free 1-800-670-0065. Seniors and family or friends of seniors who need immediate assistance with an abuse situation should call local police. For information or referral call the toll-free confidential Senior Abuse Information and Referral Line at 1-877-833-3377. Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, administrators, staff and volunteers of hospitals, licensed residential and long-term care facilities are required to report all allegations or instances of abuse through a toll free line, 1-800-225-7225.