The South Vancouver Island Community Response Networks (CRN) want people to honour older adults in Greater Victoria on this National Seniors Day, Oct. 1.
Gabi Townsend, volunteer coordinator for the Saanich Peninsula and Victoria CRNs, said older adults can be vulnerable to multiple forms of abuse and need societal engagement and care from people of all ages to prevent such mistreatment.
“In society, seniors can become invisible, then become isolated as a result of that invisibility,” she said, adding the wisdom and energy seniors have to offer often goes undervalued.
“We have to ask ourselves – are we engaging our seniors in the work that society needs to do?”
B.C.’s Ministry of Health estimates between four and 10 per cent of seniors have experienced some form of abuse – with financial the most prevalent.
Townsend recommends talking to an older person and asking them how their day has been, inviting them for a meal, offering to help with chores or taking them for coffee. “The more seniors feel they’re being watched out for in society the less likely they are to fall into depression and loneliness, and the less likely they are to fall vulnerable to scams and other abuse,” she said.
The Community Response Networks in Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, West Shore and Gulf Islands are part of the B.C. Association of Community Response Networks. Their goal is to work with the community, agencies and government to develop a coordinated response to cases of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
To learn more or to become involved in protecting older adults, visit bccrns.ca.
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