EDITORIAL: Elders in isolation risk financial abuse

‘Recognizing the signs of elder abuse and knowing who to report it to is key’

Our elders built this country and we reap the benefits of their hard work.

Yet not only are elders often overlooked, they face troubling levels of abuse from physical to financial to emotional.

And now, amid a global pandemic, seniors are bearing the brunt of the illness, made worse by further abuse. Outbreaks at retirement homes have been particularly devastating, and the consequences of public health advice to stay home and employ physical distancing mean many seniors are left more alone than ever.

Even worse, B.C.’s seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie says the pandemic forcing many to remain isolated is increasing their likelihood of experience elder abuse.

• READ MORE: All your local, regional and national COVID-19 coverage in one place

“Recognizing the signs of elder abuse and knowing who to report it to is key.”

The provincial government recently announced $1.89 million in grants, $550,000 of which is going to Seniors First BC to try to help with the problem of elder abuse.

“We are using this funding to educate and protect seniors from malicious COVID-19 related frauds and scams that try to trick seniors into giving out their personal information online or over the phone,” executive director Rick Gambrel said. “We also run a seniors abuse and information line… a victim services program and referrals to an in-house lawyer.”

Elder abuse, including neglect, is defined as a single or repeated act, or a lack of appropriate action, that causes harm or distress to an older person.

It can take place in a senior’s home, a care facility or in the community, and often involves a person in a position of trust or a situation of dependency. The abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, spiritual or neglectful.

According to statistics from Seniors First BC, approximately eight per cent of seniors in B.C. experience some form of abuse, but this number may be even higher due to under-reporting. Pay attention to the elderly people in your lives and do your best to ensure elder abuse is not impacting them.

It’s the least we can do.

Black Press Media

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Popular retired UFV therapy dog passes away

Mac the Therapy Dog consoled countless students and staff, as well as wildfire victims

Imagination Library Fraser Valley celebrating Christmas in July

Dolly Parton early literacy intiative looking for financial support to help with waitlist

Online submissions now open for virtual Chilliwack Fair

No fee this year to submit entries for food, arts and more in 148th annual Chilliwack Fair

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read