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Guilt and shame are feelings that can be based on our actions. But shame is all too often based on what someone else has done to us, if we think that action can affect what others think about us.

Case in point: elder abuse.
Like other domestic violence, elder abuse hits with a triple whammy. The abuse is a miserable and painful experience in and of itself. But it's doubly painful if it's your loved one who is abusing you. It feels like a betrayal.

Beyond that, it also has a stigma - a sense of social shame - attached to it. It's hard to admit that your loved one is abusing you. And so one's shame is kept secret.

Research says that living with secret shame is stressful. Well, personal experience might say the same. Fearing what others think of us can be a debilitating feeling. It's not good for our health, researchers say. And it can keep us from seeking help. That keeps the cycle of violence turning.

This is a matter for all of us, no matter our age. What can we do when we witness an abusive situation?

Betrayal of Trust: The Shame of Elder Abuse is the title of an upcoming telephone session organized by the Care-Ring Voice Network.

"Elder abuse is not a new phenomenon, but is one that has been receiving increased attention in recent years," says the Network's description of the session. "Old age and compromised mental health can present even a bigger challenge. Learn the warning signs and what can be done to prevent abuse."

Katie Fagen, a social worker, will lead the session. It is on Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m., and is open to anyone who lives in Quebec. AMI Quebec (Action on Mental Illness) hosts this presentation by phone. The session is confidential, but participants must register as members of the Care-Ring Voice Network at Once you've confirmed your registration for the session, you receive an email detailing how and when you can access it.
Registration is free. For information call 1-866-396-2433, email, or visit Registrants will receive the phone number that will permit them to participate.

Here's a new twist to the Care-Ring Network's phone presentations. It's a bereavement support group that meets by phone. Specifically, it's a support group for persons who have lost a loved one to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS.

Hosted by the ALS Society of Quebec, this service is for persons who have lost someone to ALS, and are looking for support. The group will offer participants an opportunity to express themselves and connect with others who share a similar experience. It is reserved for bereaved caregivers and members of families affected by ALS in the province of Quebec.

Date: Wednesday May 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact the Society's psychosocial counsellor, Valerie Neufeld at 1-877-725-7725, ext. 106, or

Now on a happier note, here's how to enter a drawing for a VIP pass to the Canada Summer Games - Sherbrooke, August 2 to 17. Just sign up with Townshippers' Association to volunteer for the Games! English-speaking volunteers are especially needed to help support English-speaking athletes, coaches and spectators who will be descending on Sherbrooke.

To enter the drawing, sign up to volunteer at, then contact Holly McMillan with your name and contact info. You can reach Holly at or 819-566-5717 (toll free 1-866-566-5717). One winner will be drawn at random at the Townshippers' AGM on June 7. The package includes an invitation to two VIP receptions and a ticket to the opening ceremony, and much more. Details are at

Anglican: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (819-239-6902).
Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).
United: Sunday services and Sunday school are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville (for details, listen to message at 819-889-2838, and for more info, leave a message and phone number).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by May 13 for publication May 22, and by May 27 for June 5.

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