World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The ninth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will be taking place Sunday, June 15th. Join communities around the world and the The Council to Reduce Elder Abuse in raising awareness around this issue. For more information, read the full press release below.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The Council to Reduce Elder Abuse commemorates World elder abuse awareness day June 15th 2014

World-wide effort to raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect

Victoria, British Columbia, June 13, 2014 – Mark your calendars! The Council to Reduce Elder Abuse is urging British Columbians to mark June 15 the ninth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and to demonstrate their support by wearing purple on this day. Since its inception in 2006, communities around the world have joined the United Nations and the International Network for the Prevention for Elder Abuse in recognizing WEAAD by hosting awareness-raising events, sharing information and promoting resources and services to raise the visibility of this serious issue.

The 14-member, multi-sector Council to Reduce Elder Abuse was established in December 2013 to promote awareness building and training on elder abuse prevention, recognition and response, and galvanize society to take action to prevent elder abuse in British Columbia. The Council is supported by a central coordinating office located in the Ministry of Health and is guided by Together to Reduce Elder Abuse – B.C.’s Strategy (March 2013), which provides a foundation for better collaboration and integration to improve prevention, recognition and response services around the province.

What is elder abuse? Sherry Baker, Council member and Executive Director of the BC Community Response Networks, says: “The abuse of older adults refers to harm caused by someone who limits or controls their rights and freedoms. It occurs when the older adult is unable to freely make choices because they are afraid of being hurt, humiliated, left alone or of the relationship ending. Abuse may be physical, emotional, financial or sexual and/or neglect. Victims of financial abuse or fraud may be robbed of the security they had worked on building over a lifetime and victims of physical abuse and/or neglect are at increased risk of health complications. Older adults may be abused or neglected by those who have promised to take care of them: their caregivers or family members, and many suffer in silence, too afraid, impaired or ashamed to speak about it.”

  “Victims of elder abuse need the support of the whole community to stop it from happening.   People who are abusive need help, too,” Baker says.

If you, or someone you know is being abused, or mistreated, or if you want more information about this issue, call the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) operated through the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BCCEAS).

Contact the SAIL line at: 1-866-437-1940, toll free, from anywhere in the province, from 8 am to 8 pm daily, excluding statutory holidays, or in Vancouver at: 604-437-1940.

Martha Jane Lewis, Council member and Executive Director for BCCEAS says: “Ending elder abuse requires changing attitudes about aging and older people, on both a personal and a societal level. We must respond to the mistreatment of older people and take action to stop it, so that their latter years are free from abuse or neglect. Small actions can make a big difference.”

Barb MacLean, Council Chair and Executive Director for the Family Caregivers’ Network Society concurs: “Preventing elder abuse and neglect is everyone’s job but the responsibility rests heavily with family, friends and neighbours as they go about day-to-day life. Many seniors are abused at home, or at a relative’s home or in a facility responsible for their care. If something doesn’t seem right, take action. Join others who care about seniors and wear purple in support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please visit SeniorsBC.ca; bcceas.ca or bccrns.ca, or contact Barb Maclean, Chair, Council to Reduce Elder Abuse at 250-384-0408

or email exdir@fcns.ca.

Below is a digital poster that can be printed for those interested.