July 10 2017

Presentation of Fanta Fane's Masters of Social Work Essay

At the quarterly meeting of the Chair, held on July 10, 2017, Fanta Fane introduced her essay to the members of the Chair, temporarily titled La violence conjugale chez les communautés immigrantes : regards croisés théorie et pratique (Conjugal Violence in Immigrant Communities: comparative perspectives of theory and practice).

At the outset of her presentation, she explained that the purpose of her work was to analyse the adaptability of intervention practices to theoretical models and approaches in the context of conjugal violence. To this end, she has performed a critical analysis of the different models, approaches and intervention practices developed in the field of spousal violence in immigrant communities.

She aspired to produce her essay on this subject since she had already written a thesis on the subject of conjugal violence in France. This work in Quebec enabled the identification of similarities and differences between French and Quebec practices in this field. In addition to a review of the literature on the subject, field work was conducted as part of her Masters in social work from the University of Sherbrooke.

The essay consists of four essential chapters. First, an overview of the historical and salient facts that contributed to the recognition of conjugal violence is presented in addition to the main policies and programs in Quebec that have been introduced to counter conjugal violence. Next, the theme of immigration in Canada is addressed by describing the diversity of immigrant populations in the country. Subsequently, the endogenous and exogenous factors, as well as the consequences inflicted upon these women are highlighted. Finally, the essay is enriched by testimonies of immigrant women who have experienced conjugal violence. The subsequent results emerging from the field work are presented. This reflexive work ends by considering various avenues of reflection so that new methods and techniques of intervention may respond more optimally to the needs of the immigrant clientele.

A more detailed presentation of each of these chapters was made by Fanta Numerous discussions among the members of the Chair followed this presentation.

The filing of the thesis is scheduled for August 31, 2017.


July 10, 2017

Brainstorming seminar on the mistreatment of older adults

In order to pursue the conceptual clarification between mistreatment and intimidation, members of the Chair were invited to comment on the Chair's definition of bullying in the article L’intimidation envers les personnes aînées : un problème social connexe à la maltraitance? (Bullying of Older adults : a social problem related to mistreatment?) Which was published in the journal Service Social (Social Service, Beaulieu, Bédard and Lebœuf, 2016).

As a first step, the members of the Chair grouped themselves into a working group. They were instructed to propose amendments and / or comments related to the definition of bullying proposed by the Chair, based on the definition established by the Quebec Government in The Concerted Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Bullying 2015-2018. The second stage of the exercise consisted of a review with the entire group as to share the ideas explored by each of the smaller groups. The discussions were fruitful and identified some nuances that may be relevant to the definition, particularly with respect to the concept of intentionality and the balance of power.

To improve the content of these exchanges, an analysis of texts published in 2017 about bullying against older adults is yet to come. This will not only provide an improved definition of the bullying experienced by older adults, but also provide the conceptual clarification between bullying and mistreatment.


May 25 to June 11 2017

Work Seminar in Belgium with Respect Seniors

From May 25 to June 1, 2017, Respect Seniors the l’Agence wallonne de lutte contre la maltraitance envers les personnes âgées (Wallonia Agency to Counter Elder Abuse) welcomed two members of the Chair, Marie Beaulieu, the Chairholder, and Roxane Leboeuf, the coordinator. The Chair’s mission in Belgium was with regards to the poject Pratiques inter disciplinaires et/ou sectorielles de lutte contre maltraitance (Interdisciplinary and / or Sectoral Practices in Countering Project Mistreatment).

The objective of this work week was to share and draw on the expertise of both organisations with respect to the intersectoral and interdisciplinary practices they’ve developed. Here is a brief overview of the activities that took place between May 25 and June 1:

  • May 26: A day of exchange with the President of Respect Seniors, Nicolas Berg, concerning the duo practice between a psychosocial worker and a psychologist developed by the organisation.
  • May 29: Participation in the radio interview on the program Tendance première (First Tendancy) en compagnie de Dominique Langhendries of Respect Seniors and Inforhomes. Participation in the work committee on the adaptation of the Factual Quiz on the mistreatment of older adults, which is intended to be published by Respect Seniors.
  • May 30: Presentation of IPRAS and Bridging Project intersectoral practice guides in two police zones of the Walloon region. Following these presentations, the Chair offered support for the developing collaborative relationships between these Police zones and Respect Seniors. The production of short video capsules was initiated with members of Respects Seniors. These capsules will eventually be presented to students of the School of Social Work at the University of Sherbrooke.
  • May 31: Participation in the opening conference and the first meeting of the roundtable organised by Respect Seniors regarding the theme of bullying of older adults. There was also interaction with the SécuNews media regarding the possible production of short articles on the subject of the mistreatment of older adults.
  • June 1: Participation in a meeting to exchange views between the FIAPA (Fédération internationale des associations des personnes aînées or the International Federation of Associations of the Elderly) in Belgium, Respect Seniors and Daniel Reguer (Professor of Sociology at the University of Le Havre in France). Presentation of the IPRAS and Bridging projects intersectoral practice guides to police officers in the Brussels North area.


March 24, 2017

Presentation of the first summary report of the ABAM-MF by Jordan Bédard-Lessard

Jordan Bédard-Lessard presented the first summary report of the project: Volunteer Action with Mistreated Older Adults - Materially or Financially during the Chair’s quarterly meeting on March 24, 2017. The report provides an account of the analysis of all data collected from the first of the five non-profit organizations (NPOs) studied for the project. Data were collected through documents on the organization, but also through interviews conducted with administrators, coordinators, stakeholders, volunteers and older adults who have experienced a situation of mistreatment. There were three elements to Jordan’s presentation: explaining where the research project was heading, presenting the preliminary results of the first analyzed NPO as well as enhancing the summary report, thanks to the comments made by the Chair’s members. The summary report highlighted the main objectives of the ABAM-MF project:

  • Define the specific characteristics of NPOs in countering material or financial mistreatment of older adults;
  • Define the specific characteristics of volunteering in this field through the description of practices;
  • Understand the experience of the older adult accompanied by a volunteer or a NPO practitioner;
  • Explore legal issues related to accompanying older adults materially or financially mistreated.
  • Identify the emerging practices of NPOs especially those related to volunteering.

After explaining the theoretical influences and the methodology of the research project, the results of the preliminary analysis of the first summary report were presented to the Chair’s members. The results were presented according to the organization’s governance, its practices and its challenges. The general and specific effects from all these results on the personnel, volunteers and older adults were also discussed.

Finally, Jordan presented the main conclusions of these preliminary analyses, based on the overall objectives. At the time of writing, the summary report has not yet been made public. Therefore, the results and conclusions cannot be further elaborated.

The Chair’s members expressed their comments regarding Jordan’s presentation and they will be used to improve the content of the summary report. The next step will be the validation of the content by the NPO involved.


March 24, 2017

Adriana Herrera Duarte presented an update of the progress of her master’s essay

Adriana Herrera Duarte presented an update of the progress of her master’s essay in Social Work, under the direction of Marie Beaulieu, at the University of Sherbrooke, during the Chair’s quarterly meeting on March 24, 2017. The essay’s title is: La lutte contre la maltraitance envers les personnes âgées hispanophones : réflexion à partir d’un programme de sensibilisation (Countering Mistreatment of Spanish-Speaking Older Adults: Reflections from an Awareness-Program).

Adriana began her presentation by asking the following research question: Are Spanish-speaking communities aware that certain actions, acceptable in their country of origin, may be considered as mistreatment in Quebec? The purpose of this question is to identify factors that may contribute to the non-recognition of mistreatment and the need to establish an awareness program to prevent and counter mistreatment of immigrant older persons.

The analyses of her internship experience with the community and the literature review performed on the subject have helped Adriana identify the following element: the non-recognition of mistreatment is based on different definitions and interpretations of mistreatment between their country of origin and their country of adoption (Quebec). The purpose of her essay is therefore to provide a reflection on the gerontological social work in order to raise awareness among Spanish older adults in countering mistreatment. In order to do so, three specific objectives were underlined in her presentation: describing the development and implementation of an awareness program; outlining the challenges encountered as well as the enablers; proposing an improved awareness program to Spanish older adults.

Adriana also presented the methodology and the awareness strategies used in her internship as well as the achieved results. She concluded her presentation by issuing recommendations that will foster awareness of the Spanish community to mistreatment of older adults, including:

  • Creation of integration spaces;
  • Detection of mistreatment among immigrant communities;
  • Intervention in the community;
  • Increase services for immigrant caregivers.

Following her presentation, the Chair’s members were invited to ask questions and leave comments to Adriana.


November 23 to 30, 2016

Working seminars with Respect Seniors

The Chair welcomed two members of Respect Seniors (RS), the Walloon Agency to counter elder abuse : Dr. Nicolas Berg, President and founder of Respect Seniors and Dominique Langhendries, Director. It was a RS mission in Quebec as part of a project aiming at knowledge sharing regarding the intersystem practices of the two organizations.

The purpose of this working seminar was to disseminate the intersystem practices in countering mistreatment in Quebec. The emphasis was put on the joint work of the Chair and the City of Montreal Police Service (SPVM) in developing and implementing the IPRAS project which also contains the intersystem component.  The RS members also had the opportunity to learn more about intersystem practices prevailing in Quebec by participating in a Partners’ Forum and a Chair’s team meeting. Here is an overview of the activities carried out between November 23 and 20, 2016.

  • November 24: Participation in the Partners’ Forum for the Lanaudière region organized by Renée Desjardins, the Regional Coordinator specialized in countering mistreatment for this region. This activity brought together active partners from various sectors dedicated to countering mistreatment.
  • November 25: Discussion with SPVM partners on the IPRAS model and intersystem practices that have been developed so far.
  • November 28:The morning was spent on the development of a knowledge transfer plan regarding the work already carried out between the Chair and RS, including the adaptation of the In Hand tool and the Factual Quiz on mistreatment. During the afternoon, the Chair informed RS about the progress of its work on bullying and good treatment. The purpose was then to discuss with RS about their practices on these matters and so they can benefit from each other's experience. 
  • November 29: Chair’s team meeting during which each member had the opportunity to report on the progress of work underway. Caroline Pelletier gave a presentation on research partnership. It was then followed by a collective analysis of Bill 115 tabled by Francine Charbonneau, the Minister responsible for Seniors and Countering Bullying. The day ended with a presentation from the RS Director on a tool developed by the organization: Pensez plus tôt à plus tard (Think about the future now).
  • November 30: Discussion with members of the SPVM Seniors Partnership community to deepen the intersystem work implemented by the SPVM (Municipal court, FADOQ, Montreal Seniors Steering Committee, community-based organizations for seniors, etc.).


November 29, 2016

Presentation on partnership research by Caroline Pelletier

At the Chair’s first quartely meeting of year 7 that took place on November 29, 2016, Caroline Pelletier made a presentation on the partnership research entitled: Comprendre les comportements des aînés afin de réajuster une offre de services en matière de lutte contre la maltraitance et l'intimidation: quelques réflexions tirées d'un projet de recherche-action (Understanding Older Adults’ Behaviours to Realign Service Offerings in Countering Mistreatment and Bullying: Some Reflexions from an Action-Research Project).

The goal of her presentation was to showcase key-elements of an action-research based on the concrete example of the DAMIA project (Seeking help in a context of older adult bullying and mistreatment).  This was particularly relevant for the Chair’s members, most of whom are working in action-research projects. Caroline also talked about some of the strong points in this type of research:

  • Rely on the participation and discussions between a research partner and a field partner in order to better understand the reality and improve practices of the field partner;
  • Encourage self-reflection among partners;
  • Build on an open communication.

She also discussed about certain issues and challenges encountered in the DAMIA project:

  • The length and the content of consent forms proposed by the Research Ethics Committee may discourage some participants;
  • Delays and requirements from the Research Ethics Committee prevent the project from progressing;
  • The difficulty of developing data collection tools adapted to the reality of older adults.

For each of these issues and challenges, Caroline presented the possible solutions developed in the framework of the DAMIA project.

Caroline’s presentation ended with an exchange of views between the Chair’s and Respect Seniors’ members. 


September 6, 2016

Working seminar on the conceptual clarification of bullying

In order to continue its work on the conceptual clarification of bullying, the Chair invited three partners for an afternoon working session on September 6, 2016. Because of their respective activities on the subject and previous collaborations with these partners for other projects, the Chair has chosen to invite the Ligne Aide Abus Aînés (LAAA) (Elder Abuse Help Line), the cutting-edge practice to counter mistreatment of older adults of the university-affiliated centre of social gerontology of the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal and DIRA-Estrie.

First, each partner presented the current state of their practice in countering mistreatment of older adults and their perceptions on this issue. Then, there was a discussion on the summary table, developed by the Chair in 2015, showing the differences and similarities between mistreatment and bullying. Several modifications were suggested.

The meeting ended with consideration of the relevance of forming an official working group on the subject. This committee will initially comprise current partners, but the addition of other partners may be possible depending on the progress of the work. The main goal of the committee will be to continue the conceptual clarification of bullying. This will be based on three lines of action: bullying from a criminal and legal standpoint (mandate led by the LAAA and the cutting-edge practice), bullying as a separate issue (mandate led by DIRA-Estrie), bullying in situations of mistreatment of older adults (mandate led by the Chair). The aim of this committee is also to develop a clear, simple and pragmatic definition so that all actors share a common language.

The foundations have been jointly laid for continuing the work in this area.


August 31, 2016

Presentation of Jessica Calvé’s master’s essay results

On August 31, 2016,at the last team meeting of the Chair’s sixth year, Jessica Calvé was allocated a one-hour speaking time so that she could present the results of her master’s essay in Social Work that was completed in June 2016. Her presentation was entitled: The Use of Practice Guides in Countering Mistreatment of Older Adults. The presentation demonstrated the interest and the relevance of using practice guides, as well as to identify steps and issues related to the creation process and the use of practice guides.

First, Jessica has put her essay into context and provided details for her methodology based on a literature review and her experience in creating practice guides during her internship (Practice Guide Regarding the Intervention in a Context of Self-Neglect with Home Support Clientele with Disabilities) and the Bridging Project (Countering Mistreatment of Older Adults: The Practice of Intersectoral Teamwork Between a Police Officer and a Practitioner from the Public or Non-Profit Health and Social Services Network. Practice Guide.) Then, she explained what a practice guide is all about: the definition from the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS), the objectives of a practice guide and different types of existing guides. She also discussed about the four stages of creation (decision, collection (and analysis), development, completion), and the three stages of use (dissemination, implementation, evaluation). Her presentation ended with issues related to the creation process and the use of practice guides, which she encountered during her internship and her work for the Bridging Project. For each of them, Jessica provided some solutions.

The Chair’s members later discussed with Jessica about their own creation experience as well as the use of practice guides. Since two other ongoing Chair’s projects are intended to develop such tool, this presentation was of great interest for the team.


July 13, 2016

Working seminar with Françoise Le Borgne-Uguen

In July 2016, the Chair had the pleasure of welcoming Françoise Le Borgne-Uguen (PhD) while she was in Québec for the Congrès international des sociologues de langue française (International Congress of French-Speaking Sociologists). In the morning of July 13, she carried out an activity with the Chair’s members. This was an opportunity for the Chair to invite several of its partners to participate in this activity. First, Françoise Le Borgne-Uguen made an hour and a half presentation entitled: Les recours aux protections juridiques : des disjonctions de temporalité entre les vieilles personnes, leurs parents et les professionnels (When older adults, their parents and professionals have different views on time, on using legal protections). Participants who attended the seminar were able to learn more about the legal aspects related to the protection of older adults in France, as well as the roles of various actors, such as health and social services professionals. This seminar was followed by a question-and-answer session with the participants which contained a lot of relevant information. For example, a comparison was made between several characteristics of protection regimes in France and in Quebec. This has led to a better understanding of each system and to a better assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. 


May 30, 2016

Audrey Allard’s master’s internship and essay presentation

At the Chair’s team meeting on May 30, 2016, Audrey Allard was allocated a one-hour speaking time so that she could present the progress of her master’s in Social Work. It focuses on the effects of the In Hand-Respect Seniors Practice Guide on the practice of psychosocial practitioners working for Respect Seniors. Since her essay is in line with her master’s internship carried out in Belgium within the organization, she first made a brief presentation of Respect Seniors, as well as the adaptation to the Walloon context of the initial In Hand guide produced by the organization with the collaboration of the Chair. She then gave a brief account of her internship and her data collection for the use of the In Hand-Respect Seniors Practice Guide. Finally, the major part of her presentation focused on key results obtained and analytical reflections, particularly on social work in a context of interprofessional practice and on tool sharing. At the time of the presentation, Audrey’s essay was being revised for the final submission. She therefore took the opportunity to share her reflections with the team. Audrey’s insights also allowed the team to reflect on their own research and practice experiences. See Audrey’s essay for more information about the effects of the In Hand-Respect Seniors Practice Guide on the practice (In French Only).


March 9, 2016

Working seminar on the webinar: Seniors Reaching out to Seniors: An Elder Abuse Awareness and Financial Literacy Workshop Program for Older Adults.


On March 9, 2016, in order to deepen their knowledge on various aspects of mistreatment, the Chair’s members watched the Webinar entitled: Seniors Reaching out to Seniors: An Elder Abuse Awareness and Financial Literacy Workshop Program for Older Adults. Broadcasted on the CHNET-Works website, this webinar quickly addressed the different stages of the development of the Seniors Reaching out to Seniors Program. It seeks to promote peer support in order to prevent and counter situations of mistreatment of older adults. This was followed by a group discussion on how the information collected could be useful to the Chair’s various projects, particularly the ABAM-MF project which focuses on financial mistreatment. The Chair’s members appreciated the exercise and are really looking forward to watching the upcoming webinars. All webinars can be seen in the section Archived webinars.


March 9, 2016

Presentation of Marika Lussier Therrien’s master’s internship and essay

During the Chair’s team meeting on March 9, 2016, Marika Lussier-Therrien was allocated a one-hour speaking time so that she could present the progress of her master’s in Social Work. She first discussed the results of her internship done in the fall of 2015 at the Grandparents’ House of Sherbrooke. She carried out intergenerational awareness-raising activities between the young and the not-so-young on the theme of bullying. She then presented to the Chair’s members the progress of her essay which deals with older adult cyber-bullying. In addition to exploring the way in which this problem is developing within this population, it aims at identifying possible avenues, as well as the social worker’s role in the intervention process. At the time of the presentation, Marika was at the data collection stage. Therefore, she was able to present her methodological process to the members and some preliminary results from her literature review and interviews with key actors. See Marika’s essay for more information about older adult cyber-bullying (In French only).


December 2, 2015

Working seminar on clarifying interview technique with Mylène Salles

As a way of enhancing our research methods, all members of the Chair participated in a working seminar on the appropriation of a qualitative data collection method that is in line with the phenomenology approach, which is the clarification of interview technique. This working seminar was presented by Mylène Salles. She previously made a one-hour presentation to explain this little known method in Quebec. Members of the Chair have subsequently put into practice their knowledge as a triad: each took turns in experimenting the roles of the interviewer, the interviewee and the observer. The working seminar ended with the recap of the activity with the whole group. Members of the Chair appreciated this methodological immersion.


June 16, June 24 and August 26, 2015

Working seminars on Terminology to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults.

A working seminar was held in the afternoon of August 26, 2015 with Sarita Israel (Coordinator of the Cutting-Edge Practice to counter mistreatment of older adults from the CSSS Cavendish CAU, Central-West Island CIUSSS) and Marie-Ève Manseau-Young (Planning, Programming and Research Officer for the provincial Elder Abuse Help Line), two of the five members of the Review Committee on Terminology to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults, including Marie Beaulieu, the Chairholder, who is also a member of this committee. The purpose of this meeting was to ensure that the members of the Committee could exchange views with the Chair’s team for the work that has been done so far in order to review and harmonize the French terminology on mistreatment. In fact, this working seminar held in the afternoon of August 26 was following presentations on the terminology to the Chair’s members (June 16, 2015 by Marie Beaulieu), and then to the members of Respect Seniors during the Quebec Mission in Wallonia (June 24, by Roxane Leboeuf and Audrey Allard).

During these two meetings, several points of analysis and improvements were raised by the Chair’s members and Respect Seniors. So that the Committee considered relevant to meet directly with all the Chair’s members in order to speak to them personally. Following this meeting, the terminology was improved and a final version for the purposes of dissemination was adopted. This terminology was posted online on the Chair’s website in October 2015, in the section on Terminology (French version only) and will be included in the new version of the Reference Guide to Counter Elder Abuse which will be published in 2016. For the moment, only the French terminology has been revised. Work is underway to harmonize the English terminology. 


May 18th to may 22th, 2015

The Chair welcomed the team members of the Walloon agency to counter mistreatment-Respect Seniors from May 18 to 22, 2015. This exchange activity is part of a cooperation project called Quebec/ Wallonia-Brussels which began in 2011 between Respect Seniors and the Chair. Our collaboration aims at implementing tools to counter mistreatment of older adults. Since the beginning of this collaboration, the Chair has supported Respect Seniors in the adaptation of the In Hand tool to the Walloon context. We are currently working on the adaptation of the factual Quiz 1 on mistreatment to the Walloon context.

The working sessions in Quebec with the Walloon team were quite busy. On May 18 and 19, the members of Respect Seniors had the opportunity of accompanying Marie Beaulieu in Rimouski. At the invitation of the Table de concertation des aînés du Bas-Saint-Laurent (Senior Steering Committee for the Bas-St-Laurent region), she gave a conference that was focusing on countering mistreatment of older adults in Quebec by incorporating new concerns about older adult bullying.During these working sessions, the Respect Seniors team had the opportunity to exchange views with people regarding practices to counter mistreatment of older adults and to learn more about cooperation methods in Quebec in which many seniors are involved, such as Senior Steering Committees.

On May 20, a working session was organized between the members of Respect Seniors and all active members of the Chair’s research and practice components. In the morning, the members of the Chair reported on the progress of their respective work to the Respect Seniors team. The Respect Seniors team subsequently took the time to present their public awareness material (posters, pamphlets and brochures) used to raise the issue and their organization.The purpose was to analyze and exchange on the form and content of their material. The afternoon was dedicated to validating the adaptation of the factual Quiz 1 on mistreatment of older adults to the Walloon context. The members of the Chair were able to complete the Quiz individually. Then, there was a large-group discussion session to analyze each of the questions and answers in order to improve the formulation and the content, if need be.

On May 21, a second day of work was organized with the members of Respect Seniors, the Elder Abuse Help Line (LAAA) team and the regional coordinators in mistreatment of older adults for the Montreal region and cultural communities, Marie Cantin and Louise Buzit-Beaulieu. Two of the members of the Chair also participated in this second working day, Roxane Leboeuf, coordinator, and Audrey Allard, a master's student in social work who will do, in the fall of 2015, her internship in Belgium with the Respect Seniors team. That day was aimed at promoting services and the functioning of each in order to enrich their respective practices.

In the morning, Marie Cantin presented the action plan to counter mistreatment of older adults of the Montreal region, its consultation structure as well as the major projects currently in progress in the region. She subsequently presented the provincial coordinator’s (Louise Buzit-Beaulieu who unfortunately was unable to attend this working session) action plan to counter mistreatment of older adults from cultural communities. Ms. Cantin also presented one of the major projects on which Ms. Buzit-Beaulieu has been working: the Electronic Toolbox which deals with the mistreatment of older adults within an intercultural context.This tool, which is still developing, is intended to various practitioners including those of Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS) and Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS). The LAAA team presented the Provincial Multisectoral Team to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults of the CSSS Cavendish-CAU. The morning working session ended with a visit of the LAAA offices.

In the afternoon, members of Respect Seniors and the LAAA introduced their new respective websites. The LAAA members made a presentation of the helpline and focused on new elements since the members of Respect Seniors came in November 2012, including statistics, support offered to professionals and research projects. Following this, exchanges on practices carried out in Wallonia and Quebec took place.

For more information about Respect Seniors and the Elder Abuse Help Line, please visit their websites: http://www.respectseniors.be/ and http://www.aideabusaines.ca/


March 24, 2015

Working Seminar with members from the Steering Committee to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults for the Estrie region

In the framework of the quartely meeting, on March 24, 2015, the Chair’s members involved in the IPRAS project made a presentation on their work progress. This presentation lasted an hour and a half. Since there was a keen interest from several partners for this project, the Chair’s members proposed to various partners from the Estrie region to join them for the presentation. There were 11 representatives from various organizations, including representatives from steering committees of various RCMs, community organizers, the DIRA-Estrie coordinator, the Memphrémagog and Sherbrooke Police Services, the Sûreté du Québec of the Memphrémagog division as well as the regional coordinator from the Estrie region, Paul Martel. Not only they learned more about the project’s progress (reminder of the objectives, highlights for each of the research activities performed, the basic structure of the practice model, the current and future project’s stages), but all participants also took the time to discuss with team members about the expected benefits. 

See the description of the IPRAS research project to find out more! Or see the research report published at the beginning of April 2015 which presents a summary of early analysis carried out from the results of the data collection.


October 20th and 21th, 2014

On October 20 and 21, 2014, the Chair was very pleased to welcome Mélanie Oudewater and Dominique Langhendries from Respect Seniors (The Walloon Agency to counter elder abuse in Belgium). The aim of the meeting was to continue our work on the project General public awareness and training of future practitioners regarding mistreatment of older adults: the Wallonia-Quebec experience.

During the two-day meeting, we looked at the adaptation of the Quiz on mistreatment carried out by the Walloon Agency. Several Chair members were able to familiarize themselves with the new tool and make suggestions for improvements. Practitioner training components related to the quiz were studied in greater detail, as was the methodology that allows us to evaluate the adaptation of the tool and the training. We then explored opportunities for future collaboration with the aim of continuing work on the project, which will be completed in spring 2015. A lunch was organized with the Chair members to give people the opportunity to discuss the progress of the Chair’s various projects, as well as those carried out by the Respect Seniors team.

Finally, Ms. Oudewater and Mr. Langhendries were invited to a presentation on mistreatment given by Marie Beaulieu to master’s students in Social Work at the University of Sherbrooke. There, the pair spoke about current Walloon practices to counter mistreatment of older adults. The students gave positive feedback about the presentation.

July 10th, 2014

On July 10, 2014, we held a one-day workshop with Karine Lefeuvre-Darnajou, a professor from the Public Health Agency (EHESP) in France, who specializes in the rights of persons and users in health and social institutions and the legal protection of adults. Her areas of interest are, more specifically, the notions of autonomy, respect for human dignity, protection of persons under tutorship or curatorship, and mistreatment and good-treatment in institutions.

The day began with a meeting between Ms. Lefeuvre and the team from the Chair, giving them the chance to discuss their respective work. The goal of the meeting was to explore avenues for the creation of future research collaboration. The Chair also took the opportunity to conduct a Major Interview with Ms. Lefeuvre, which is now available on our website. (View the interview with Ms. Lefeuvre)

In the afternoon, we organized a guided tour of the Research Centre on Aging (CDRV) to allow Ms. Lefeuvre to familiarize herself with the Chair’s research environment. The tour was followed by a meeting with Mr. Denis Marceau, President of the Users’ Committee at the CHUS. With their shared interest and commitment to defending the rights of users and older adults, the two had a rewarding discussion as they exchanged information about practices in Quebec and France.


June 25th, 2014

As part of the Chair’s team meeting that took place on June 25, 2014, members received a visit from Paul Martel, regional coordinator of the Governmental Action Plan to Counter Elder Abuse for the Estrie region, who presented the Reference Guide to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults. Since several new members joined the Chair in the past year and few of them were familiar with the Guide, Johannie Bergeron-Patenaude, then coordinator of the Chair, invited Mr. Martel to present the Guide to the team.

Mr. Martel spent about an hour and a half (including a question period) going over the main aspects of the Guide with the participating Chair members. His presentation touched on the following subjects:

  • the goal, the objectives and the target actors of the Guide;
  • the process which led to its development and the contributing collaborators;
  • the symbolic meaning of the Guide’s cover and format;
  • the organization of the content and how to find information;
  • the specific information contained in the Guide;
  • the current data on the number of times the Guide was presented as of June 25, and to whom.

A question and discussion period followed. Members who had not yet received training on the Guide reported that they enjoyed Paul Martel’s presentation.


February 10th, 2014

As part of a noon-hour presentation, the Chair members had the opportunity to welcome Rebecca Nadeau, who spoke to the team about the reality of older transgender and transsexual adults.

With a view to demystifying these terms, the following information was provided by Ms. Nadeau or collected from the IRIS Estrie website.

  • A transgender person is a person who may or may not take hormones, and who wishes to dress as, and assume the role of, a person of the opposite sex permanently. Transgender persons have not undergone sex change surgery, and do not wish to do so.
  • Transsexual persons are persons who alter, or are in the process of altering their bodies in order to adopt the gender identity of the sex opposite their assigned gender (gender at birth). This transition is achieved through hormonal therapy and sex change surgery.
  • A transvestite refers to a person who occasionally or frequently enjoys adopting the dress or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. These persons are not in the process of altering their gender identity, and do not wish to do so.

Having undergone a sex change herself, Ms. Nadeau spoke very openly with our team members about her experience. The team thus learned about the reality of transsexual persons, including the difficulties they face both personally and socially, and the types of services available to them. Ms. Nadeau also presented IRIS Estrie, a community organization with a regional mandate and a mission to encourage and develop community action to counter HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs). The organization also offers support services to different groups within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Through project “Caméléon,” an initiative developed by the organization, transgender persons have access to information, support for various aspects of their lives, individual and group meetings, and more.

At our meeting with Ms. Nadeau, we invited her to give a similar presentation to a group of bachelor of social work students at the University of Sherbrooke as part of a course on aging given by Marie Beaulieu.

Although the presentation was less focused on the specific reality of older transsexual adults, there is no doubt that with our aging population, professionals will be working with a growing number of persons who have undergone a sex change. It is thus important that professionals be aware of the issues at hand, in order to reduce the barriers and stigmas faced by transsexual persons as they attempt to access various services.


September 13th, 2013

The Chair has had the pleasure of welcoming Bibiana Graeff in at a conference entitled Mistreatment of older adults in Brazil: the example of the financial exploitation.

Bibiana Graeff is a professor at the University of Sao Paulo, dispensing the courses on "Human rights and aging", as part of the license in gerontology. She holds a doctorate in law (2008), obtained in Cotutelle between the University of Paris 1 - Sorbonne (Paris, France) and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, Brazil). Her main current research interests focus on the rights of seniors and the policies related to aging in Brazil and worldwide. She is particularly interested in the "Age-friendly Cities" thematic and in the fight against mistreatment.

Summary of the conference:

In 1988, Brazil entrenched established rights for "older adults" (art. 230) in its new Constitutional Charter. The country adopted, in 1994, a law establishing a national policy for this new category of subject of law, in 2003, a law establishing a "senior status". This law introduced rules in several areas, from civil to criminal law, and also administrative law. In terms of mistreatment, this Act defines fourteen new crimes in the Brazilian legislation, which include various crimes related to the financial exploitation of seniors (articles 103 and 104). Since 2003, the rate of reporting of mistreatment acts against seniors and the deployment of mechanisms to fight mistreatment have considerably increased. The proportion of financial exploitation cases in these reports is high (this type of mistreatment appears to be more frequent in 5 of the 27 Brazilian capitals, according to a major survey published in 2007). The presentation therefore described the legislative process, provided some statistics and gave some concrete examples of the applications of these laws in the fight against the financial exploitation of seniors. In addition, an article is currently in development.

June 5th, 2013

The Chair held a seminar aimed at knowledge transfer, which gathered 24 people from various organizations.

A luncheon meeting, followed by the seminar focused on knowledge transfer, were held by the Chair on June 5. The audience consisted of Chair members, three colleagues from the Respect Seniors organization from Wallonia (Belgium), the Seniors Secretariat and members from the Table de concertation contre les mauvais traitements envers les aînés de l'Estrie (a round table on mistreatment of older adults in the Estrie region). Four presentations were made, of which a brief summary of each follows.

Master's thesis in Social Work by Annie Riendeau :

Enjeux associés à l'intervention visant à contrer la maltraitance envers les personnes aînées vivant à domicile au Québec (Issues related to interventions in order to counter mistreatment of older adults living at home in Quebec).

From a systematic review of articles published by researchers from Quebec, this thesis is describes issues, challenges and limits of interventions involving older adults living at home. Three themes are explored in depth: ethical and psychosocial issues of intervention, spousal violence within senior couples and interprofessional and intersectoral practices against mistreatment. Finally, a reflection has been launched on issues that are not covered by research in the field of mistreatement of older adults at the present time and on the challenges of intervention in the Social Work-Gerontology practice.

Master's thesis of Arzemina Spahic Blazevic: Être à la fois proche aidant d'un aîné et réfugié au Québec: promotion de la bientraitance (Being both a caregiver to an older adult and a refugee in Quebec: promoting well-treatment).

This thesis aims to reflect on the life context of caregivers who are also refugees. It also explains the exhaustion of caregivers, as a consequence to their health as well as a risk factor for mistreatment. Emphasis is placed on the importance of support services for caregivers from immigrant communities by promoting positive treatment, in contrast with a more direct approach of fighting mistreatment, which may not be well received in these cultural communities.

Research report: Volunteer commitment in the fight against mistreatment of older adults, the AEIFA-DIRA experience.

The Association estrienne d'information et de formation aux aînés (AEIFA-DIRA) an organization that provides information and training for older adults of the Estrie region, whose principal mission is to help older adults in situations of mistreatment, was given a grant in order to recruit and train new volunteers. The Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults provided support to this project by carrying out an action research in parallel to it. The objective of this research was to document volunteer work in the fight against mistreatment as well as various forms of supervision. This study has become a pilot project which has lead to a grant application in the summer of 2013.

Doctoral thesis of Louise Belzile: Les savoirs mobilisés dans l'activité instrumentée de détection des cas de maltraitance des personnes aînées (Mobilization of knowledge in the instrumented activity of detecting cases of mistreatment of older adults).

In the fight against mistreatment, with regard to prevention, case finding or follow-ups, various tools are being used, just as they are in other professional activities that rely on interactions with and towards others. We don't know much about the implied knowledge that is imbedded in the way practitioners are using tools to support their actions. This presentation has outlined the issue and the theoretical framework of this doctoral study, which will lead to a data collection in 2013-2014.


November 27th, 2012

The research Chair had the great pleasure of welcoming representatives of the Walloon agency to fight elder abuse, Respect Seniors of Belgium, from the 26th to 30th of November, 2012. This activity is part of a collaboration project that the Seventh Joint Standing Committee Quebec/Wallonia-Brussels 2011-2013 entrusted to the research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults and to the Walloon Agency to fight elder abuse, better known as Respect Seniors. This project, entitled «Joint discussions around the implementation of a tool linked to the fight against elder abuse», the details of which may be consulted in the «Activities» section, has already led to the accomplishment of two Quebec missions in Belgium, whereas for the Walloons, this was a first mission in Quebec. Two members of the Chair's team returned to Wallonia in April 2013, while members of Respect Seniors have visited us once again in June 2013.

In the course of this week, Chair members guided the activities of the Respect Seniors representatives. On Monday, November 26th, they met the Carrefour Montrose partners, among whom the members of the SAVA project (support for elderly victims of abuse).

On Tuesday, November 27th Respect Seniors' members visited the Research Chair in Sherbrooke. A working seminar brought together the Chair, Respect Seniors and Paul Martel, the Eastern Townships coordinator in the fight against mistreatment, accompanied by members of the regional intersectoral Table to fight mistreatment. The exchanges enabled everyone to introduce themselves and to put into perspective the respective work contexts, discuss ongoing projects (including the projects of students in the Chair) and the convergence of the concerns that are the driving force for each entity. As Respect Seniors and the Chair evolve in two very different contexts, Louise Belzile, from the Chair, presented the links between practice and research which, while often considered opposites, are part of a movement that mobilizes both parties and constitues a common ground of knowledge at work. We were all also received by the Sureté du Québec to learn about their approaches.

From 28 to 30 November, the Walloon colleagues participated in the biannual training meeting of the regional coordinators in the fight against mistreatment in Quebec. They shared their expertise through a more formal presentation. Finally, in the afternoon of November 30, Respects Seniors and Chair members visited the Elder Abuse Helpline. In short, it was a very successful week!

For more information on the Respect Seniors organization, visit this link: http://www.respectseniors.be/.

September 11th, 2012

Exchanging information when an individual's safety is threatened

In the context of a diagnosis process on mistreatment, the group of service partners for older adults in the Eastern Townships region highlighted confidentiality and the transmission of information between partners as being a significant hindrance to protecting and assisting older adults.  It is in this perspective that the Chair will wlecome Me Audrey Turmel, counsel at the Directorate of guidelines and policies of the Quebec Ministry of Justice.   Me Turmel is also member of the interdepartmental committee which monitors the Governmental Action Plan to Counter Mistreatment of Older Adults.


June 26th, 2012

The Chair has had the great pleasure of welcoming Raymonde Crête and her financial services law research group (GDRSF) of Laval University. Mrs. Crête and her team are currently working on the completion of phase 3 of their research project on the financial exploitation of seniors, funded by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) (Financial Markets Authority).

In the course of preparing the grant application for this project, the working group wanted to document the phenomenon of the financial exploitation of seniors and that is when they learned about the existence of the Research Chair on Mistreatment and its work. Once the grant obtained, a contact has been established with the Chair in order to build collaborative links with Marie Beaulieu and her team.

It is in this context that a first working meeting took place on June 26th in the Chair's premises. The members of the Chair introduced the project in which they are involved. The members of Mrs. Crete's working group have shared their own contribution to the large research project on the financial exploitation of older persons. Finally, the Chair introduced the process and results of the literature review regarding financial abuse of seniors that she had prepared for this occasion. This is how a bright future of collaboration is taking shape!


May 8th, 2012

The Chair welcomed Murielle Rebourg (http://www-tmp.univ-brest.fr/crdp/Membres), professor of private law, Private Law Center of the University of Brest in France.  Me Rebourg presented her work in relation to the Path vulnerability in old age research, especially the results of the axis 2 of the research, respect of autonomy and protection of the vulnerable individual in the implementation of the Act of 5 March 2007 in France.

Me Rebourg’s main topics of interest are: 1- the tension between filial support, maintenance obligation, payment of home help and impact on inheritances, settlements and legacies. 2- respecting the wishes of the aged individual regarding his heritage, which includes the property which constitutes his housing but also the evolution of his heritage by settlement and legacy (frequent contestation by the family of wills and donations that are made to beneficiaries who are not family members).


May 10th, 2011

The Chair received Professor Françoise Le Borgne-Uguen (http://www.usherbrooke.ca/service-social/nous-joindre/personnel-enseignant/le-borgne-uguen-francoise/) from the Université de Bretagne occidentale in Brest. Professor Le Borgne-Uguen shared with us her career path, as well as her work in the field of mistreatment.  In addition to being responsible for the Professional Social Interventions Licence, with a specialty in gerontological actions, she conducts research related to family solidarity, activities aimed at adult protection and related public policies, aging and disability.  Moreover, she is an associate professor at the University of Sherbrooke.

Mme Le Borgne-Uguen was in Quebec to lead a workshop at the 79th ACFAS Congress: Curiosity, diversity, responsibility.  Her presentation is entitled: A two-fold aim in the legal protection of adults in France since 2009:  Preserving capacities and taking into account the vulnerabilities of older people. (Une double visée dans la protection juridique des majeurs en France depuis 2009: Préserver les capacités et prendre en compte les vulnérabilités des personnes du grand âge.)



July 10, 2017

Brainstorming seminar on the mistreatment of older adults

In order to pursue the conceptual clarification between mistreatment and intimidation, members of the Chair were invited to comment on the Chair's definition of bullying in the article L’intimidation envers les personnes aînées : un problème social connexe à la maltraitance? (Bullying of Older adults : a social problem related to mistreatment?) Which was published in the journal Service Social (Social Service, Beaulieu, Bédard and Lebœuf, 2016).

As a first step, the members of the Chair grouped themselves into a working group. They were instructed to propose amendments and / or comments related to the definition of bullying proposed by the Chair, based on the definition established by the Quebec Government in The Concerted Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Bullying 2015-2018[JH1] . The second stage of the exercise consisted of a review with the entire group as to share the ideas explored by each of the smaller groups. The discussions were fruitful and identified some nuances that may be relevant to the definition, particularly with respect to the concept of intentionality and the balance of power.

To improve the content of these exchanges, an analysis of texts published in 2017 about bullying against older adults is yet to come. This will not only provide an improved definition of the bullying experienced by older adults, but also provide the conceptual clarification between bullying and mistreatment.

In situation of emergency

If you witness or are victim of a mistreatment situation and wish to obtain information or help, please contact the Elder Abuse Help Line (for Quebec residents).

1 888 489-ABUS (2287)

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Contact details

Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults
Research Centre on Aging – CIUSSS de l'Estrie - CHUS
1036, Belvédère Sud
Sherbrooke (Québec)
J1H 4C4

Telephone : 1 819 780-2220, extension 45621

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