Skip to main content
Home » Advocacy » Empowering Seniors » Aging Powerfully: Working Together Toward a Safer Future
Empowering Seniors

Aging Powerfully: Working Together Toward a Safer Future

We all know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”. But what happens when the child grows old? Shouldn’t the same village be eager to provide attention, support, and care across the life course and into our later years?

A recent report on social isolation and loneliness by the National Institute on Aging found that 41 per cent of Canadians aged 50 years and older are at risk of social isolation and 58 per cent have experienced loneliness. Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased negative health outcomes ranging from depression to the risk of dementia and even premature death. They are also significant risk factors for the mistreatment and neglect of older people.


Trying to tackle complex challenges such as social isolation or elder abuse can seem daunting. It is easy to feel helpless and hope for a “silver bullet” solution. We feel discouraged all over again when it doesn’t materialize. But here’s the good news — true social change happens from the ground up, when individuals, communities, organizations, and decision-makers learn, work together, and align their collective efforts to bring about systemic change.

In this spirit, the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse launched Future Us last year, in partnership with Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and over a dozen other organizations. Future Us is our community engagement strategy for elder abuse prevention. We developed it for people of all ages, outlining clear roles, actions and opportunities for citizens, advocates, professionals, and leaders in communities, including governments, to help us work on a shared project to prevent violence and abuse of older people in their homes and communities.

We believe that issues affecting older people should matter to anyone who is aging -which is everyone. We can all start by acknowledging inequities, age-based prejudice, and discrimination against older people. If you have recently noticed or spoken up against ageism, then congratulations, you’re already on the Future Us path!

Now choose your own adventure — what will you do next? You can attend a local workshop to learn about ageism or how to spot elder abuse; ask your elected officials to make elder abuse a priority issue in your community; include ageism in your diversity and inclusion policies at work, and ensure your employee engagement programs are truly age inclusive. Future Us has many avenues, ranging from local to international initiatives, such as supporting the growing call for a U.N. Convention for the Rights of Older People.

Ageism has no place in our society and elder abuse is preventable. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can help make things better, our future is up to us.

To find out how you can be a part of Future Us, visit To learn more about seniors’ rights and resources in Ontario, visit To find information about elder abuse prevention and support services across Canada, visit

Next article