Risk Factors for Elder Abuse in Arabic-speaking Communities in Toronto

By: Souraya Sidani   Sepali Guruge   Mari Kozak  

A range of post-migration risk factors contribute to the vulnerability of older immigrants to elder abuse. This paper captures the findings of a recently completed phase one of a study that aims to identify key risk factors that contribute to elder abuse in Arabic-speaking communities in the Great Toronto Area, and relevant strategies to address elder abuse. A total of ninety-seven older women, older men, family members, community leaders, and service providers took part in separate group interviews in this mixed-methods study. An intersectionality framework guided the data collection and analysis to capture the diversity as well as the shared beliefs and values, across Arabic-speaking communities. Older immigrants women identified knowledge of English; older immigrant men identified social isolation; family members identified length of time in Canada; community leaders identified racialized, cultural, and ethnic group status, and service providers identified income, as the most important risk factors contributing to elder abuse. Quantitative data show financial dependence, language differences, and social isolation alongside ageism and racism as key risk factors. The different stakeholder group perspectives provide a comprehensive understanding of risk factors for elder abuse in this community. Such an understanding can be used to design multi-level, multi-sector interventions to address elder abuse.

Elder abuse, Risk factors, Arabic-speaking communities, Mixed method, Canada
Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Souraya Sidani

Professor and Canada Research Chair, Ryerson University, Canada

Prof. Sepali Guruge

Ryerson University, Canada

Professor and Research Chair in Urban Health

Mari Kozak

Research Assistant , Ryerson University , Canada