Meet Arlene Groh RN, BA

Elder Abuse, Restorative Justice Consultant

Arlene GrohOlder adults deserve to age with honour, dignity and respect.This belief is core to Arlene's practice and the impetus for exploring and implementing innovative approaches to address the abuse of older adults. Arlene has found that seniors are reluctant to disclose financial, emotional, physical abuse and neglect by someone they should be able to rely on and may be unwilling to access available supports. They are also at risk of health and social services or the police discounting their allegations of abuse.

Arlene recognizes that older adults may carry their tragic secret of abuse to the grave. This motivated her to explore, pioneer and coordinate restorative justice approaches to elder abuse; to establish the Elder Abuse Response Team of Waterloo Region and to initiate a movement for the City of Waterloo to actively engage in preventing elder abuse by becoming an Age Friendly City.

Arlene’s practice is guided by restorative justice philosophy and her core values of integrity, respect, safety and knowledge.  She advocates for legal, health and social services, faith and cultural communities and the government to work together to build safe communities for older adults.

Selected biographical information:

  • Elder Abuse Restorative Justice Resource Consultant (November 2004 to May 2008) for the Elder Abuse Response Team. Mandated to provide joint police and health care investigations, diversion to restorative justice when appropriate, community development, education and training.;;
  • Case Manager/Resource Consultant (September 2004 to November 2004) Develop and implement the Elder Abuse Response Team. Consultation services for care providers and families regarding elder abuse and restorative justice.
  • Project Coordinatior, (March 2000 to September 2004). Restorative Justice Approaches to Elder Abuse Project (pdf). Dr. Rick Linden, University of Manitoba, evaluated project with funding from the Law Commission of Canada and Justice Canada.
  • Founding member, professional lead (2002 to present) for the Harmony Interactive Theatre Troupe, a troupe of older adults using interactive theatre to raise awareness about elder abuse and restorative justice.
  • Case Manager, Community Care Access Centre: (CCAC) (November 1998 to March 2000). Engaged in community development activities, secured support of community partners, obtained funding to design, implement and evaluate restorative justice as a resource option for people affected by elder abuse.

Selected Activities

  • Member of the Community Care Access Centre Elder Abuse Resource Team (1992 to 2007)
  • Member of an initiative to establish and maintain a region wide interagency elder abuse protocol (1998 to 2000)
  • Chaired the interagency case review committee; a multidisciplinary team that reviews complex cases of elder abuse, identifies gaps in service and promotes “best practice” (2000 to 2008)
  • Participant of the Provincial Elder Abuse Faith Interest Group
  • Mediation, Circle and Advance Circle Training

Selected Volunteer Experience