Elder Abuse Awareness Day at Tamarack Centre this weekend
Elderly citizens in Cranbrook are vulnerable to multiple forms of abuse and need the whole community to be vigilant and supportive. That’s the message from the Cranbrook Community Response Network (CRN), which is planning to mark World Elder Abuse Day on June 15th with educational activities to increase awareness of elder abuse and neglect.
The BC Ministry of Health estimates that between four and 10 per cent of BC seniors will experience some form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. This estimate could be higher since elder abuse is often not reported.
“Older adults in our community continue to find themselves in vulnerable situations and are experiencing various forms of abuse and neglect. Legislation alone can’t keep them safe – involved communities make a critical difference,” said Keri Rinehart, East Kootenay Regional Mentor with the BC Association of Community Response Networks.
The Cranbrook Community Response Network is part of the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCCRN), whose mandate is to bring together community and government agencies (e.g. Health Authorities and Community Living BC), local businesses and others in networks to prevent and respond to abuse and neglect. In Cranbrook the CRN has partnered with the Safe Communities Cranbrook Committee to help support the CRN’s activities and collaboration efforts.
Since elder abuse can often be invisible, citizens have a role to play by keeping their eyes and ears open to possible abuse. This vigilance is important as often a senior will not report abuse because most abusers are family members and the senior’s support group. And often family is all that stands between seniors and the social isolation they can fear as much as abuse.
The activity planned to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Cranbrook will be an information booth at the Tamarack Centre Mall on Saturday, June 14th from 9:30am to 5:30pm.