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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Elders belong to a vulnerable sector of society and are often exposed to conditions in which their wellbeing is threatened due to dependent relationships on friends, family and service providers for money, food, or shelter. According to the Government of Canada’s website, the most commonly recognized types of elder abuse include physical, psychological and financial, financial being the most prevalent.
Once a year on June 15, communities around the world plan activities and programs to recognize elder abuse. This is an opportunity to share information and spread awareness about abuse, neglect and exploitation in later life.
There is no legal requirement to report adult abuse in BC. However, as a concerned citizen you may wish to report that you have noticed that someone is in difficulty. There are many community agencies in BC such as victim services, seniors centres, transitions houses. The designated agencies in BC are the 5 regional health authorities for many adults and Community Living BC for adults who have a developmental disability. If you suspect that an elder you know may be suffering from abuse, don't hesitate to reach out to these organizations.
What else can you do?
- Learn all you can, starting with this fact sheet on elder abuse.
- Wear purple on Sunday, June 15 – the chosen colour for recognizing this cause.
- Use the hashtag #RespectElders as you use social media to make your own comments on what you're learning, and spread knowledge.
- Seek to use this knowledge to protect the elders you know in your community.
Together, we can reduce the risk of elder abuse and promote the wellbeing of our vulernable family, friends, and neighbours.