Updated: Jun 26, 2020
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is marked each year on June 15. It is an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. 2020 marks WEAAD's 15th anniversary.
HealthlinkBC identifies abuse or neglect that happens to older adults as having many forms including physical, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual or social. Abuse and neglect can include withholding medication or the necessities of life.
Seniors First BC’s definition - Abuse means an action, or deliberate behaviour, by a person(s) in a position of trust, such as an adult child, family member, friend or care-giver, that causes an adult:
(a) Physical, emotional or mental harm - or –
(b) Damage to, or loss of, assets or property.
Abuse and neglect in later life can affect a person’s health, happiness and safety. Older adults can experience different kinds of harm from people they rely on or trust, however, abuse or neglect can be prevented. There are many ways that families can prevent abuse or neglect happening to others or themselves in later life. Good communication and support within families, as well as between couples, are important. Regular contact among family members can be immensely helpful and supportive. Good caregiving which means having the time, right personality and resources to take on the caregiver responsibility. Get to know what community resources are available to support the caregiver and the senior. Strengthen relationships and traditions or create new ones.
PWC supports Peachlanders with the focus being primarily senior, based on Peachland’s demographics. One way of supporting this population through the past months of COVID-19 has been the weekly calls to current PWC clients/participants. This service has proven to be incredibly positive for many living in isolation and has offered the opportunity to stay connected to the community. PWC is available for everyone in the community and will continue this phone call service long after the pandemic is considered over. This ‘new’ service will be an extension of the friendly visiting service and will be available to anyone in Peachland wanting to stay connected. You will be able to contact PWC to get on the call list. This is not to replace the great work of the Seniors daily call program offered by the Peachland community Police but rather will be a weekly or monthly friendly visit that people will have with their own friendly visitor via telephone.
In light of the recent shocking report about Long term care homes in Ontario, PWC acknowledges and shares https://www.canage.ca/ Canada’s national seniors advocacy organization hosting a live online debate with leaders and experts to discuss the issue of isolation and neglect of older Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on what PWC programs and services offer please call our office at 250-767-0141 Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
If you see a crime or a situation that puts an older adult at immediate risk, call the police or 9-1-1 right away. Advise that you want to report a situation of suspected elder abuse, neglect or self-neglect.
For support and resources outside Peachland:
Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) Toll free 1-866-437-1940 - Available 8am to 8pm daily (except holidays) SAIL is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention.
Family Caregivers of British Columbia supports caregivers. Call toll-free 1-877-520-3267 or visit www.familycaregiversbc.ca/ for help with burnout and stress from caregiving.