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General public awareness and training of future practitioners regarding mistreatment of older adults: the Wallonia-Quebec experience


Marie Beaulieu Ph. D., University of Sherbrooke


Nicolas Berg, Respect Seniors, Belgium

Dominique Langhendries, Respect Seniors, Belgium

Mélanie Oudewater, Respect Seniors, Belgique

Équipe d’intervenants de Respect Seniors


Audrey Allard, master’s student in social work and research assistant

Roxane Leboeuf, Coordinator of the Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults

Caroline Pelletier, doctoral student in gerontology and research assistant


The VIIIth Permanent Joint Board Quebec-Wallonia-Brussels, $8 000


From June 1st, 2013 to May 31, 2015


The Chair plays a leading role with its expertise on the elaboration of a quiz on mistreatment of elders, which has led to the publication of the book Mistreatment of Older Adults…Changing Perceptions. This is the quiz that has been reviewed and adapted to the Walloon context.


The fight against mistreatment begins with the recognition of the existence of the phenomenon. Still considered taboo, mistreatment is little acknowledged by the general public and is not sufficiently addressed in the training of future professionals. It is therefore important to develop adequate materials to reach these audiences, which must reflect cultural considerations. Given the complexity of the phenomenon of mistreatment of older adults and the diversity of actors involved, developing a diversity of models of awareness-building and training on this issue is appropriate.


This fresh perspective of the Wallonia-Quebec experience will develop awareness and training tools in French, which are greatly needed since the existing material is, in most cases, in English.


  1. Adapt awareness tools for the general public and future practitioners on the mistreatment of older adults; by doing so, a) provide to Respects-Seniors with external input that can benefit those who participate in awareness workshops or receive training from this organization, and b) provide to the research Chair on mistreatment of older adults new material aimed at awareness-building, training and knowledge transfer.
  2. Implement mechanisms that ensure complementarity between the two partners in this project, which are the basis for the sustainability of the mutual benefits generated by the project.


  1. Inventory of practices and working methods in Wallonia.
  2. Inventory of practices and working methods in Quebec.
  3. Comparison of awareness and training tools used in Belgium and Quebec, including the factual quiz on mistreatment of older adults.
  4. Quebec Mission 1 in Wallonia (May 2014, 2 people) in order to clarify what has been collected so far and draw up general guidelines for renewed awareness and training interventions.
  5. Quebec Mission 2 in Wallonia (Spring 2015, 2 people) in order to complete the adaptation of the Quiz and to develop a dissemination plan.


The Respect Seniors team has reviewed the 18 statements of the Quiz and their responses in preparation for the first working session that was held in Belgium in May 2014. The Chair’s team has developed an inventory of practices and methods raising awareness and training. A second working session was held in Sherbrooke in the fall of 2014. The data collection about the acceptance of a Walloon adaptation began in January following the issuance of the certificate in ethics in December 2014. The data collection took place over a period of five months. The members of the Chair actively participated in the process in May, during the second mission of Respect Seniors in Sherbrooke. Over the same period, the Respect Seniors team has also begun the drafting of book chapters related to each of the statements for publication purposes. The Chair undertook its second mission a few weeks later in Belgium. Then, the Chair worked on the chapters previously sent by the Respect Seniors team. Despite the fact that the amount of the grant is used up, the Chair decided to continue its support for the summer and the fall of 2015 to revise chapters for which the adaptation has not yet been made. Once this is done, discussions will begin in order to develop a plan for the dissemination of results.


Beaulieu, M. et Crevier, M. (25 avril 2013). Fragilité, vulnérabilité et maltraitance envers les aînés : une recension systématique des écrits. Comité de l’adaptation du quiz factuel sur la maltraitance envers les personnes aînées à la réalité wallonne de Respect Seniors. Namur (Belgique).