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Feds announce new funding to stop elder abusen in ethnic communities

The federal government has announced an investment $575,000 to a program designed to increase awareness of elder abuse among ethnic communities.

The program is called Pan-Canadian Program for Elder Abuse Awareness and Education in Ethnocultural Communities,or PanCan.  The program works with community groups in cities across the country and specifically works with Anglophone Jewish communities, Russian-speaking Jewish communities, and French-speaking African and Haitian communities.

Rashan Musa, PanCan's program co-ordinator, says the issue of elder abuse is a difficult one for ethnic communities to tackle because of cultural barriers.

"Elder abuse isn't necessarily recognized as abuse in the cultures that they come from  . . . It's taboo, essentially," she says. "We find that a lot of the seniors are falling through the cracks."

Minister of State for Seniors, Alice Wong, made the announcement at the Jewish Family Services of Ottawa headquarters on Carling Avenue.  Wong said the fresh funding is part of an 11 per cent increase in government funding for various programs for seniors.

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