Abuse of the elderly includes all kinds of acts and neglect in a close relationship with an elderly person. These actions threaten the elderly person’s well-being, security or health. Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age was founded in 1990. It is a non-governmental organization that strives to arouse public discussion about the abuse of the elderly, help elderly people and those close to them in times of need, and to prevent the abuse of the elderly. The association can help both the elderly victims and give guidance to the professionals working with the elderly people.
Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age does not have its own shelter, but cooperates with municipal authorities and others whose work is related to elderly people and violence. It offers expertise and negotiation help in situations where elderly people are being abused.
Suvanto maintains a telephone service Suvanto help line for elderly people who have experienced violence or for those close to them. Suvanto offers also professionally guided peer support groups and provides professional one-on-one support. In addition Suvanto arranges courses, information meetings, events and compiles and disseminates information about the abuse of the elderly.
The organization coordinates the annual event World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15th of June. On this date various events are held in many parts of the world to highlight the problem of elder abuse and to inform both the professionals and the public about the importance of the violence prevention work.
Suvanto is the member of the following organizations:
- The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters
- The Union for Senior Services
- The Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People
- The Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health
Violence and other forms of abuse must never be condoned. Discussing the problem with someone who can be trusted is often good for the victim and can encourage the person do something for the problematic situation. Together there are more possibilities to find new solutions.
Suvanto offers professional help by phone, by one-on-one meetings and by professionally guided peer group work. Suvanto also guides to the services of other professional helpers such as: the municipal social, heath care and home care centers, the closest shelter and the police.
Suvanto-linja 0800 – 06776, the telephone service offered by Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age, is open every Tuesday and Thursday between 1-3 p.m. Calling is free of charge. Every other Wednesday at 4-6 p.m. Suvanto-line answers to legal questions. This service is given by a lawyer.
Become a member or support the Suvanto Association
Both individuals and organizations may become members of the Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age. Members share the common goal of guaranteeing the safety and human dignity of the elderly. Members may participate in the courses and seminars offered by the association.
You can support us by becoming a member, donating or by buying our products. As a supporter you are participating in our valuable work and thereby helping us to protect the security, well-being, rights and general position of the elderly. You can contact us by e-mail info(at)suvantory.fi or phone 09-726 2422.
Erasmus+ Project: Sociodrama Tackling Ageism, Preventing Abuse (S.T.Age) (2015-2017)
The project aims to provide learning opportunities to build awareness of elder abuse and the knowledge and skills to recognize it tailored to formal carers and older people, particularly those receiving care in day centres and residential settings. In this way increase the capacity of those living/attending and working in day centres and residential care settings to act preventively and empower disclosure. Organizations participating S.T.Age are Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age (Finland) Age Action (Ireland), Anziani e non solo (Italy), Asociatia HABILITAS Centru de Resurse si Formare Profeionala (Romania) and The Gaiety School of Acting (Ireland).
As an outcome of S.T.Age project is the handbook “Elder Abuse, Context and Theory – Finland, Ireland, Italy and Romania” The book concludes by outlining the value of sociodrama as a medium for addressing social issues. The aim of the book is to set the context and inform the development of the Respect to Prevent – Education and Training Handbook. The Respect to Prevent education and training resource will develop a series of workshops to inform and engage older people in residential care settings and care staff. For older people, the aim of the workshop will be to engage them in embracing and activating their human rights, nurturing their confidence to report their concerns. For care staff the focus of the workshops will be on building empathy, addressing ageism and promoting self-care. The Respect to Prevent Handbook will outline the methodology developed and provide step by step guidance on how to implement the workshops.
The webpage of the project
The handbook “Elder Abuse, Context and Theory – Finland, Ireland, Italy and Romania”
Grundtvig project: Combating elder abuse (2013-2015)
The project aimed to expand knowledge and awareness on ways to prevent elder abuse at a local, national and European level, to Share and develop innovative training material and methods and ways to raise awareness of elder abuse among volunteers, informal carers and older people and their families and to engage in national elder abuse awareness raising through involvement in world elder abuse awareness day events. Organizations which participated the project were Suvanto – For A Safe Old Age, Age Action (Ireland), Anziani e non solo (Italy) and asociatia habilitas centru de resurse si formare profesionala (Romania). The final outcome of the project was the handbook “Elder abuse Awareness for Informal Carers”. The book includes resources to organize an elder abuse awareness workshop for carers.
The flyer of the project
The handbook “Elder abuse Awareness for Informal Carers”.
Juuri Project – Implementation of expertise and work against elder abuse into everyday practice – 2013-2017
As a pilot project in Oulu, Juuri creates a regional nexus of expertise on elder abuse and neglect in Northern Finland. In this project, Suvanto as the coordinating organization works in cooperation with The Oulu Region Mäntykoti Association and The Oulu Mother and Child Home and Shelter Association.
The purpose of the project is to: foster new kinds of expertise and methods for dealing with elder abuse by bringing together the existing knowledge and expertise of elderly care as well as domestic and family violence; gather and share experiences and knowledge relating to work against elder abuse and neglect; to pay particular attention to the implementation of expertise and contribute to better understanding of how new methods of dealing with elder abuse can be turned into everyday practices on the grassroots level. The systematic documentation of the implementation of new working methods is aimed to benefit professionals and decision-makers nationally and internationally.
A Strong Network – Preventing Abuse of the Elderly through Interprofessional Networking and Peer Support (2006–2010)
The purpose of the project was to find and develop network models and working practices that can benefit the recognition, observation, interruption and prevention of abuse of the elderly. The education about networking was aimed at professionals, volunteers and students in the field of social and health affairs as well as others working with the elderly, including the police, the legal system and the church. The information and peer support part of the project was aimed at the elderly and those close to them.