Community Report: Under Reporting in Abuse of Older Adults in the Prairie Provinces

Under Reporting in Abuse of Older Adults in the Prairie Provinces

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Brief Description:

This tri-provincial study explores the reasons for under reporting abuse of older adults in the Prairie Provinces of Canada, where little research in this area has been conducted. Abuse of community-residing older adults and specifically the reasons for not reporting are poorly understood.

This report discusses the preliminary findings of an exploratory study that collected data through interviews with older adults who identified as having histories of abuse and family members, as well as service providers working in related sectors. Annual reports from community organizations were reviewed, as well as conducting an environmental scan.

Content analysis using peer review and theoretical sensitivity was employed to identify themes.  Recommendations are made for improved awareness, education and service provision in prevention and treatment of the abuse of older adults.


Kerstin Roger, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba). Dr. Roger is Director of the Undergraduate Program in Community Health Sciences. Her research is on aging and the family, caregiving and community, and how these interface with health care. Dr. Roger has been a Principal Investigator on multi-site nationally funded research (e.g. PHAC, SSHRC, Movember, federal government), as well as conducting provincial and regionally funded research. She has worked on international collaborations, local not-for-profit community initiatives, and continues to co-author and engage graduate students in her research.

Kemi Anjorin-Ohu, BSC, BSW., Community Caseworker at the Kerby Centre,

My great passion is supporting and advocating for people. I help my clients, who are mostly seniors, experiencing abuse to regain their self-confidence, and feel safe as they integrate back into the community. My educational background includes BSc in Microbiology from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Bachelor of Social Work from University of Calgary, Canada. During my BSW program I was a member of the Gerontology Interest Group a FSW student led initiative designed to promote awareness about Gerontological social work.

Marina Cewick, B.H.Ecol. FSS, is a student and teaching assistant at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences (Family Social Sciences) for several years. She has completed coursework in Family Social Sciences, specializing in seniors and aging, while also completing the Interfaculty Option on Aging. She is currently working with seniors in a recreational role and studying at the UofM for her Bachelor of Education.

Donna Goodridge Ph.D., RN., is a Professor in the Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include: health services improvement for older adults with advanced chronic disease, self-compassion and health literacy.

Carla Liepert is currently completing her Masters in Social Work, specializing in the Leadership in Human Services stream at the University of Calgary. Her passions include working with older adults, specifically focusing on the areas of preventative practice and rural social work. Carla currently works at a municipal government level in Alberta with Family and Community Support Services, as well as a Research Assistant through the University of Calgary.

Michelle Ranville, BSW, RSW Michelle has worked in the role of Manager, Community Services at A & O: Support Services for Older Adults Inc. since 2002. She has managed the Elder Abuse Services and she started the Safe Suite program for older adults needing to leave situations of abuse in 2006. She also manages the Older Victim Services Program in partnership with the Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba Justice Victim Services.

Labe Songose, is currently completing her Masters in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, at the University of Manitoba. Labe is proudly from Ghana. Her primary focus is studying violence against refugee women in Canada as well as the abuse of older adults in Manitoba.

Christine A. Walsh, MSc, MSW, Ph.D., RSW is a Professor and the Associate Dean (Research and Partnerships) at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. Christine’s program of research focusses on gender-based violence with a particular interest in violence against older adults. She employs community-based, action-oriented and arts-based research methods to understand and prioritize the needs of marginalized populations including older adults who have experienced violence.