Nov. 1-7 is BC Crime Prevention Week. Seniors are safer when we reach out and show them, we care. Elder Abuse is a growing problem in Canada. Involved, caring communities keep all vulnerable adults safe.
Approximately 1 in 10 Canadians aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse although these statistics may not show the true picture as some adults do not report crime or abuse.
Everyday, citizens especially seniors are impacted by the effects of crime in our communities. Awareness is the best protection against crime. Many people may not realize the simple actions make a difference not only their own lives, but the lives of those in their communities. Power to instill change is found in the knowledge each of us hold. This creates a responsibility to do what we can in our communities to bring awareness to the issues impacting the sense of safety and well-being.
It must be noted that abuse can fall into 2 categories: criminal and non-criminal offences. Possible signs of abuse:
- the onset of unexplained physical injuries, like bruising, sprains or broken bones
- a change in financial status
- abandoning / leaving a dependent elder alone for long periods of time
- a sudden change in the elder’s appearance
- bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect
- belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses or those who should be in a position of trust are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse
- frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person
If you suspect an individual is the victim of abuse or a scam, talk to the individual or a local agency. Contact your local CRN for additional information.