It’s hard to acknowledge that abuse and neglect happens to older people in our community. But acknowledging it and learning more allows us to support those experiencing it. In December 2021, the Seniors Advocate released the results of a 5-year study of abuse and neglect in BC. It found that there was a 49% increase in reports of abuse, neglect and self-neglect to health authorities, as well as an 87% increase in physical abuse and 49% increase in reports of financial abuse to Vancouver Police. They cited a lack of awareness, gaps in services, and need for training for those working with seniors, as some of their key concerns.
We, as community members have a responsibility to be aware of the signs, know how we can prevent it and address it appropriately when it does occur so that we avoid further endangering the older adult experiencing abuse or neglect. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) takes place June 15 and is an important time to learn and raise awareness of this issue. Daniela Gunn-Doerge from Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and Joanna Li of the BC Community Response Network but together a webinar to help support our community’s understanding of how to prevent and address elder abuse and neglect in your community. Watch the video here: