World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15 and the Victoria Community Response Network will host two panels that day in James Bay in the morning and Oak Bay in the afternoon.
“We think it’s important that everyone in our community take responsibility for the care of our elderly, as they live longer in their homes,” said Bridey Morrison Morgan of Victoria CRN. “People are encouraged to live longer in their homes and if they’re going to live longer in their homes we want them to be safer in their homes. And we all know the elderly are preyed upon by people in our community.”
Last year CRN held a similar panel aimed for the professional audience. This year the target audience is the general public as well as interested professionals.
“It’s just one of the information sessions that we do out in the community to raise awareness for everyone, not just the elderly,” she said.
“It’s helping multi-generation groups of people understand that the elderly should not just be pushed to the side, they’ve contributed to the community and now the time has come for us to reach out to them.”
Speakers will address agency roles in different scenarios, with representation from Island Health, Public Guardian and Trustee, Oak Bay Police and Victoria Police, Better Business Bureau and Police Victims Service.
“Older adults in our communities continue to find themselves in vulnerable situations and still experience various forms of abuse and neglect,” said Sherry Baker, executive director of the B.C. Association of Community Response Networks.
According to Ministry of Health documents, between four and 10 per cent of seniors experience some form of physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse. It is also believed that abuse of seniors is significantly under reported.
“We’re living longer and we need to, as a community, take responsibility for our neighbours and our friends as we age. We’ve been very disengaged with each other over the last 15 or 20 years,” said Morrison Morgan. “We have another campaign we’ll be kicking off in the fall, It’s Not Right … It’s how to not be a bystander, to actually get engaged in taking responsibility as a community about what’s happening with our frailer and more elderly citizens.”
The Victoria CRN includes community, social and health service organizations, government agencies, community minded individuals, local business and seniors, and supports a co-ordinated approach to help abused and neglected adults get the support and assistance they need. Registration is required for the free panel presentation at Monterey Recreation Centre by calling 250-370-7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.