Creating a federal policy definition of “senior abuse”: Closed consultation

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran from June 15, 2021 to July 22, 2021.

See the “what we heard” report for summaries of the discussions that took place

Senior abuse is an important human rights issue. It is also a social and public health issue that can undermine an older person’s:

We commit to strengthening Canada’s approach to senior abuse. To that end, we asked for feedback to create a federal policy definition of “senior abuse”. Currently, there is no standard in Canada. It can mean different things to different people depending on their life and ethno cultural experience.

A federal definition will support more consistent and informed:

Note: While this issue is commonly known as “elder abuse”, the term “elder” has a distinct cultural meaning for Indigenous communities in Canada. In recognition of this, we will use “senior abuse” to describe this issue throughout the consultation.

Who was the focus of this consultation

The Government of Canada engaged with:

  • researchers and academics
  • groups and other experts that:
    • represent older adults,
    • provide support to older adults
    • work with persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2 communities, new immigrants, official language minority communities
  • Indigenous communities, governments and organizations
  • members of the general public, including seniors

Key questions

The online survey focused on themes related to support defining “senior abuse”.


  • preferred term to describe the issue
  • elements or behaviours to include in a definition
  • types of information or data needed to develop senior abuse policies

What we heard

Interim reports

Related information

Page details

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