The professional association that represents registered nurses in Ontario has been asked to appear before a House of Commons committee to give its views on preventing elder abuse and neglect.
The federal Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which is studying Bill C-36, an act to amend the Criminal Code, will hear from individuals who will comment on a provision to add “vulnerability due to age” as a factor for judges to consider when sentencing individuals guilty of committing abuse against seniors.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is well known for its work on the prevention of elder abuse and neglect. Two years ago, it led a national project to raise greater awareness of elder abuse in long-term care homes. It also created a curriculum to help inform health-care workers on how to identify instances of elder abuse and how to intervene. Last year, the association received funding from the federal government to create a best practice guideline aimed at the prevention of elder abuse and neglect.
Josie Santos, a registered nurse and the lead manager for RNAO’s work on the prevention of elder abuse will be in Ottawa to address the committee and answer questions on how to effectively address this serious issue.
RNAO is pleased that the government is taking steps to better protect seniors from perpetrators of violence. However, the association says the federal government needs to do more to tackle the issue head on. Given that many instances of elder abuse go unreported, RNAO wants to see greater emphasis on the root causes of elder abuse such as poverty along with more programs on prevention and intervention and better support services for seniors and their families and caregivers.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.