Old age is not a crime, says Canada Safety Council

Who: The Canada Safety Council and Juniper Park\TBWA.

What: “Old age is not a crime,” a new elder abuse awareness and prevention campaign.

When & Where: Timed to coincide with National Senior Safety Week (Nov. 6-12), the campaign is running across print, out-of-home, digital and social.

Why: According to a release, “countless” seniors in Canada face abuse and neglect and are living in what it describes as “prison-like conditions.” According to Statistics Canada data, there were 12,202 senior victims of police-reported violence in Canada in 2018, one-third of whom were victimized by a family member.

How: The ads deliver the message that being old isn’t a crime by presenting pictures of elderly Canadians as stark black and white mugshots, accompanied by messages like “The mandatory sentence for falling on the floor and breaking your hip shouldn’t be being left on the floor with a broken hip” and “Placed in restraints. Starved and stripped of all his dignity. There is a word for a man like this: grandpa.”

“I once felt like I was invincible; wrestled professionally, played serious football. No one would mess with me,” said Howard Jerome, one of the elders who appears in the campaign. “Now I am over 80 and I have been messed with. Elder abuse is real.”

And we quote: “We really wanted to jolt people awake to the severity of the issue. That’s why we went in this direction. We understand that the images may be triggering to some and shocking to others, but that is the point. This is real life for many seniors across the country and we need to address it.” — Gareth Jones, president and CEO, Canada Safety Council.


Chris Powell