Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network receives provincial recognition

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    The City of Lethbridge and Seniors Community Forum congratulate the Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network (LEARN) for receiving the Government of Alberta Inspiration Award for Leadership in Family and Community Safety.

    The award recognizes Albertans for their efforts to end family violence, sexual violence, child sexual abuse and bullying. LEARN received the award Friday, Nov. 4 in Edmonton, marking the first time an elder abuse program has been selected to receive it.

    “This award is an opportunity to raise the profile of elder abuse as a social issue in our community as well as other communities around Alberta,” says Dawn Vickers, Co-chair of LEARN. “It’s gratifying that the tremendous collaboration and partnerships we’ve established here in Lethbridge are being recognized by the Province.”

    LEARN is a collaborative community response to elder abuse in southwest Alberta. Established in 2008 by the City of Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Police Service and the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization, LEARN began as an education and awareness program providing workshops within Lethbridge. The three member organizations soon recognized the need to offer coordinated case managed services specific to the unique needs of older adults.  After building an unstaffed collaborative network, the group received grant funding and employed a social worker to case-manage individuals who need ongoing assistance.

    Today, LEARN is grant funded, staffed and has 29 network members representing organizations serving older adults in Lethbridge area. LEARN provides a single contact point and coordinates assistance for victims and families to access legal and community supports. Having a case manager within Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization uniquely positions LEARN to interact closely with victims and their peers which increases the likelihood of victims disclosing elder abuse. Unique to LEARN is its seven-member interdisciplinary steering committee, which provides peer coaching, training and collaborates on elder abuse cases, coordination of supports and intervention when protection is required.

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