Today Marks 10th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The BC Care Providers Association is proud to join the British Columbia Council to Reduce Elder Abuse and millions of people around the world in supporting a international effort to reduce elder abuse and neglect. 

Learn more about the 10th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day below.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th 2015 Marks The 10th Anniversary Of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 

The British Columbia Council to Reduce Elder Abuse supports world-wide effort to reduce elder abuse and neglect

628x471Vancouver, British Columbia, June 15, 2015.  Have you called your parent, grandparent, or an older friend today? The Council to Reduce Elder Abuse (CREA) is urging British Columbians to connect with their older family members and friends in recognition of June 15th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). CREA joins the United Nations, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and communities around the world in marking WEAAD’s 10th anniversary and increasing the visibility of this serious issue.

 “Elder abuse is a violation of human and legal rights,” says Barb MacLean, CREA Chair and Executive Director of Family Caregivers of British Columbia. “It covers a spectrum of actions such as physical, financial and emotional abuse, abandonment and social exclusion. It includes misuse of medication and infringement on an older adult’s choices and decisions,” she explains.

“Wear a purple T-shirt, tie or earrings and start the conversation about elder abuse,” she urges. “Let’s make purple a visible reminder to connect with someone older, who may be suffering in silence. Call your older friend, or visit your neighbour. We all have a role to play in preventing elder abuse!”

The 14-member CREA was established to highlight the issue of elder abuse in British Columbia and to facilitate collaboration and implementation of cross-sectoral efforts to reduce elder abuse. Members include representatives from the policing, health, legal, caregiving and financial sectors as well as representatives from Aboriginal, ethnocultural and senior-serving organizations.

Elder abuse can happen to anyone – in any culture, situation, or circumstance. Many seniors who experience abuse fear that they will not be believed if they ask for help. Sheila Pither, CREA member and a Council of Senior Citizens Organizations (COSCO) representative explains, “They think, ‘If I say something the abuse might get worse.’  Their silence enables the abuser to continue to harm them,” she says. “The work needed to provide safety and support is complex but it MUST happen if our society truly wants to make a difference in the lives of seniors.”

Older adults who experience abuse often know and trust the person who is mistreating them. The senior may be intimidated and financially exploited, or physically harmed through deliberate actions or neglect, or through misuse medication. Victims of abuse are often too ashamed, embarrassed or dependent upon the person mistreating them, to tell anyone that they are being abused.

If you or someone you know is being abused, and if you want more information, or legal advice, call the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL), operated through the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BCCEAS). Phone SAIL toll free at: 1-866-437-1940 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, excluding statutory holidays, or in Vancouver at: 604-437-1940. TTY and translation services are available.

Join CREA and the millions of caring individuals around the world in recognizing June 15th as the 10th anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  “Victims of elder abuse need the support of the entire community to stop the abuse from happening,” says Rajeev Mohindru CREA member and Director of Care at Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS). “Together we can create safer, age-friendly communities. Let’s reach out to one another and show that we care!”

To learn more about elder abuse prevention 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.