This paper describes a pilot government-funded project to raise awareness of elder abuse in faith communities.
Research indicates that faith leaders are one of the most likely groups of caregivers to encounter cases of elder abuse, but unfortunately they rarely refer or report these cases to agencies that can help. Religious leaders require training to educate them about elder abuse issues, as well as to identify the important roles they can play in prevention, intervention and treatment. Pastoral workers and theology students should also be exposed to educational concepts regarding this problem. In an age of ecumenicism and interfaith movements, religious leaders must become a conduit for the well-being and safety of older adults. This paper discusses a study undertaken in Ontario, funded by Health Canada (Ontario Region), the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Justice Canada to determine the awareness level that faith leaders possess about elder abuse.