Nova Scotians of all ages must take steps to recognize and help prevent elder abuse in their communities, officials from the Seniors’ Secretariat said today, June 15, as the province marked its second annual Elder Abuse Awareness Day. “We must work with communities to build awareness of elder abuse,” said Valerie White, executive director of the Seniors’ Secretariat. “We want seniors to feel safe in their homes and communities.” The awareness day coincides with the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. At a ceremony held at Province House today, officials emphasized why it is important for Nova Scotians to understand the problem of elder abuse. “Our goal is to promote the health and well-being of older Nova Scotians through the prevention of abuse,” said Barb Baker, elder abuse consultant for the Seniors’ Secretariat. “Elder Abuse Awareness Day is another important step towards achieving our goal.” Elder Abuse Awareness Day information kits were distributed to community groups and interested individuals provincewide. “One of the most effective ways to prevent abuse is by educating the public on the topic and increasing awareness,” said Ms. White. “The kits are a way for us to support communities, help change attitudes and behaviours and help people come forward.” Nova Scotia marked its first Elder Abuse Awareness Day in November 2005 when it released the Nova Scotia Elder Abuse Strategy: Towards Awareness and Prevention. For more information about Elder Abuse Awareness Day or to obtain a copy of the strategy, contact the Seniors’ Secretariat information line at 1-800-670-0065 or see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/scs .