World Elder Abuse Awareness Day occurs every June 15, and June 2 to June 8 is Seniors’ Week in BC. In order to bring attention to the issue of financial abuse of seniors, we are running a series of blog posts this month.

In this post, I will introduce a new resource that the Ministry of Health recently rolled out across the province. I will also discuss an information line run by the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support.

New information kit for seniors The Elder Abuse Prevention in British Columbia Information Kit helps people prevent, recognize, and respond to elder abuse. The kit contains brochures on various topics related to elder abuse.

They are:

  • Elder Abuse: It’s Time to Face the Reality
  • Responding to Elder Abuse: Resources
  • Financial Abuse: Protecting British Columbia’s seniors
  • Are You Dating? Older Adults and Healthy Relationships
  • How to Tell Someone You are Being Abused: Starting the Conversation

The InvestRight Investment Fraud Guide is included in the kit, and links to our website are provided on the Seniors BC website (www.seniorsbc.ca). This website hosts the brochures in other languages. It also has more about how to recognize and report different types of elder abuse, providing information and resources for other issues, such as safety and consumer protection.

Information phone line extends hours in July

In July 2013, the Seniors Abuse & Information Line (SAIL) will extend its hours to Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. SAIL is a safe place for older adults to talk and receive information about elder abuse, or discuss possible abuse or mistreatment by others. There are two SAIL numbers available to BC residents: 604-437-1940 or 1-866-437-1940 (toll free).

The current SAIL hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other resources, web links & numbers

Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) The CSA provides a number of brochures on the Investor Tools section of its website. Sandwich Generation: Are you caught in the middle? and Scam Artists Pursue Adults over 50 are two publications that provide information related to retirees and the elderly.

Canadian Bar Association: BC Branch This page provides legal information for seniors on a variety of topics related to finances and semiors’ rights. It also provides links to publications that outline benefits and services available to seniors.

Canadian Centre for Elder Law This national, non-profit was established in 2003 by the B.C. Law Institute. The CCEL publishes a journal and provides resources for public use. A project called Financial 101: Protect Yourself! is a self-contained workshop that can be used to train volunteers to deliver financial literacy to older adults. The CCEL’s resource page also provides links to a number of informative resources.

BC Centre for Elder Advocacy Support This non-profit raises awareness about elder abuse, and provides programs to its clients. The centre provides an information line, victim services, and legal resources. It also does education outreach.

BC Association of Community Response NetworksOrganizations working together to let community know how to get help, and prevent the abuse and neglect of adults.

In my next post, I will talk about how to recognize and report elder abuse.

Suggested Reading

2009 CSA Investor Index from a BC perspective

Regulators encourage Canadians to be proactive in preventing investment fraud

A balancing act - investor protection vs capital raising

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