Creating awareness about elder abuse

Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Chilliwack's Community Response Network will be at Wal-Mart to provide info.

According to Ministry of Health documents, between four and 10 per cent of BC seniors will experience some form of physical, emotional or financial abuse.

And with an aging population, that alarming statistic is likely to get worse.

Problem is, most people have little clue what to do about it. What constitutes abuse? Who do they call if they see it?

Chilliwack’s Community Response Network has those answers, and they’re using World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to get the message out.

Saturday is the day, and the CRN will have a table set up outside the Eagle Landing Wal-Mart from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Different events are happening all over the province, and what we’ve chosen to do is set up this booth,” said Fraser Health social worker Denise Armstrong. “We’ll be trying to get people to the table to talk to us about situations they’ve come across, the questions and concerns they might have.”

Chilliwack’s CRN is a collection of groups with an interest in preventing abuse and neglect of adults and seniors.

Fraser Health is involved, as are the Alzheimers and Hospice societies.

We have people from addiction services, people from Envision Credit Union and a large group of capable volunteers,” said Armstrong, who pitches in as a coordinator. “It’s a really good mix of people who care about this issue.”

Chilliwack’s CRN operates under the umbrella of the BC Association of Community Response Networks, and they have access to a wealth of information.

It (elder abuse) is becoming more prevalent and, even if it’s not a family member, almost everyone has a co-worker or a neighbor or someone else that they may be concerned about,” Armstrong said. “We can make people aware of the contact numbers and what signs to look for. That’s what our plan is, to get people talking about it.”

For more info on World Elder Abuse Day, see cnpea.ca

For more info on CRNs, click online to bccrns.ca/crns/regions/fraser.php