As it stands in B.C., a senior in a facility is rarely afforded the same rights and protections by law that the rest of us are entitled to. I say this because I was told by the police that suspected physical, mental, sexual and financial abuse committed by a resident or employee of a seniors facility are criminal offences that should be reported to law enforcement by management or a family member. But my information has shown that these offences are not being reported.
The licencing branch within each health authority is responsible for monitoring the health and safety of seniors through regular inspections that reveal whether the facility is in compliance with the regulations.
And if not, should be applying methods of enforcement to stop violations against our seniors. The Senior Advocates reports, however, state that violations have increased by 21 per cent since 2014 of which 44 per cent are in the category of “care and supervision”.
According to the regulations, these incidents should be documented and reported by management to their health authority. Inspection reports show that infractions in the category of “records and reporting” is a frequent failure by management. And the health authorities are failing to address this problem effectively.
Abuse is a criminal offence. Our government officials are not protecting our seniors.
If we want to ensure their safety, we must take matters into our own hands by reporting these offences to the police to be dealt with in a court of law as they should be.