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Parliamentary secretary’s statement on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15, 2024 at 9:04 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services, has issued the following statement in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, 2024:

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day recognizes the abuse of older adults as a serious social issue, and it is an opportunity for us to bring awareness to the dangers of elder abuse and neglect, and to learn more about how we can work together to support seniors.

“Seniors are the backbone of our province, and it is important that older adults are safe and comfortable, allowing them to live with fulfilment in their communities. However, the World Health Organization estimates one in six people over the age of 60 suffers from abuse. This number may be even higher as the abuse and neglect of elderly people is often under-reported. 

“It takes all of us, in each community, organization and facility to work together as advocates to safeguard quality of life for older adults by preventing abuse and neglect. We can do this by better understanding what constitutes abuse and neglect and turn that awareness into positive action and support. By recognizing the signs and the steps to take if there is abuse, we can work together to prevent all forms of neglect and abuse of older adults.

“We all have a shared role of responsibility to support older adults, and I encourage those who witness or are made aware of any abuse to call the seniors abuse and information line at 1 866 437-1940 to talk to a trained worker about concerns of abuse or mistreatment. Call 911 in an emergency.

“To best support our expanding population of seniors in B.C., we have provided $10.74 million to the BC Association of Community Response Networks to support Community Response Networks and the Council to Reduce Elder Abuse since 2017-18. The Province has also provided $2.8 million to Seniors First BC to operate the seniors abuse and information line since 2017-18.

“I urge everyone in British Columbia to join us in raising awareness by wearing purple and taking part in activities in your community through the BC Association of Community Response Networks (https://bccrns.ca/) and other community organizations in B.C. for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Elder Abuse Awareness Month. These efforts contribute to the local, national and international conversations around elder-abuse prevention and help to spread awareness for the security of older adults. 

“I encourage people around the province to join me in acknowledging the contributions of older adults, and in supporting their rights to live with dignity, safety and security. Together, we can raise awareness and prevent elder abuse to protect older community members and loved ones.”

Learn More:

To learn about elder abuse and neglect, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/health-safety/protection-from-elder-abuse-and-neglect

To learn about the BC Association of Community Response Networks, visit: www.bccrns.ca

For information about Seniors First BC and SAIL, which provides advocacy and support for seniors, visit: http://seniorsfirstbc.ca/

To learn about BC211, which provides free, confidential service for resources in the communities, visit: https://bc.211.ca/

To learn about the Better at Home program, which helps seniors live independently in their own homes, visit: http://betterathome.ca/

Seniors can apply for Better at Home program services by contacting the provincial office at 604 268-1312, or by email: [email protected]

To find your local Better at Home community organization, visit: http://betterathome.ca/organization-directory/

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