World Elder Abuse Day generates awareness of maltreatment of seniors

A local education session hopes to give seniors the tools to protect themselves against all forms of elder abuse.

With thousands of elderly people living in Victoria, a local education session hopes to give seniors the tools to protect themselves against all forms of elder abuse.

World Elder Abuse Day is an international event aimed at creating a better understanding of what elder abuse is and how it can be prevented.

In Victoria, there will be two education sessions with speakers from local police agencies, Public Guardian and Trustee, Island Health, the Better Business Bureau and Victim Services.

Bridey Morrison Morgan is a mentor for the South Vancouver Island for the B.C. Association of Community Response Networks, an organization aimed at ending elder abuse and neglect.

Morrison Morgan said she’s seen many forms of elder abuse ranging from financial abuse when seniors sign a blank cheque and find their bank account has been tampered with to situations where grandchildren move in with their grandparents and take over the house.

“I’ve heard of all kinds of situations where elder abuse is happening,” said Morrison Morgan.

Nansi Blenkiron, a local event organizer, said many people might not even realize that they are being abused.

“Some people might not even realize what’s going on and when they do, it’s hard to know where to turn and where to get help,” she said. “So often they’re shamed, it might be family member that’s taking advantage of you, you don’t want to rat on them and you don’t want to turn them in, so you’re stuck.”

The sessions will talk about who to contact if you or someone you know is being abused and the top 10 scams aimed at seniors.

World Elder Abuse Day is on Monday, June 15 at James Bay New Horizons (234 Menzies St.) from 9-11:30 a.m., pre-registration is required, email cmvictoria@gmail.com or call 250-386-3035. There is also another panel session at Monterey Recreation Centre (1442 Monterey Ave.) from 1-3:30 p.m., call 250-370-7300 to register.