Dozens Recognize Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Prince George, B.C. – The issue of elder abuse was front and centre in downtown Prince George today.
Dozens gathered to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. A walk was co-organized by the Community Response Network and the Prince George Council of Seniors.
“I don’t have any specific numbers for Prince George but I can tell you that in the province of B.C. three to 10 per cent of seniors will experience some form of abuse each year,” said Lola Dawn Fennell, executive director of the Prince George Council of Seniors.
“And we must bear in mind that that is only the cases that are brought to the attention of authorities. It could very well be just the tip of the iceberg.”
She said elder abuse can encompass all sorts of things.
“We often think of abuse as only physical. So, punching, slapping, shoving, things that could cause bruises or physical harm but that is not what we see the most of,” said Fennell. “We see and hear of financial abuse quite often and that is generally accompanied by some form of emotional or psychological abuse.”
She said examples of financial abuse could be using the money or assets of an older adult without their free and informed consent like using their bank cards without telling them.
It could also be coercing them into changing their will or taking furniture and using it without their informed consent.
Luckily, she said there is help in Prince George for victims and recommended calling the following organizations if in need:
- The Community Response Network at 250-649-3321
- Prince George Council of Seniors at 250-564-9100
- Northern Health Protection Line at 250-565-7414
- Or if someone is in immediate danger or harm 9-1-1
The City of Prince George has shown its support by proclaiming today World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Fennell said participants wore purple today because it signifies the bruises both seen and unseen that abused elders experience.