Parliamentary secretary for seniors, Darryl Plecas, and BC Association of Community Response Networks executive director, Sherry Baker, announced $2.6 million in funding for B.C. programs to reduce elder abuse, during a Langley press conference held on Thursday, June 18.

Province funds elder abuse prevention programs

Announcement of $2.6 million commitment made in Langley Township

The provincial government announced $2.6 million in funding for elder abuse programs at a Langley press conference on June 18.

Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors, Darryl Plecas, said the money will go to the BC Association of Community Response Networks (CRN).

“Elder abuse is not always obvious, but it is always unacceptable,” Plecas said.

“It is essential for all of us to be aware and take action.

“Each one of us has a responsibility to promote a culture of respect and protect the safety of older adults.”

CRN executive director Sherry Baker said, as a Langley resident who also works on local seniors issues, she was “doubly pleased” to be attending the announcement.

CRN supports networks in 55 centres across B.C. made up of agencies, service providers and activists fighting elder “abuse, neglect and self-neglect” Baker said.

The province also announced $700,000 in grants over two years to 14 projects to support “community-based awareness building, enhanced training and improved response to elder abuse through community partnerships and collaboration.”

Social worker Leanne Lange said incidents of elder abuse are increasing.

“It is tough to see people who have worked hard all their lives, who have contributed to our communities and who have raised families, being abused and neglected sometimes by the very people they have cared for,” said Lange who specializes in adult abuse and neglect with the Fraser Health Authority.

“We are working hard to respond to the abuse and neglect of seniors, and ensure they are receiving the care, support and respect they deserve, instead of allowing them to suffer in silence.”

Elder abuse is defined as a single or repeated act, or a lack of appropriate action that causes harm or distress to an older person.

Caregivers or adult child are often the abusers.

It’s estimated that four per cent to 10 per cent of seniors will experience some form of physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse, including neglect.

If you or someone you know is being abused and you believe they might be in danger, call 9-1-1.

For more information, call the Seniors Abuse and Information Line, operated through the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support at 604 437-1940 in Vancouver or 1 866-437-1940, toll-free in B.C., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except statutory holidays.

Or visit: SeniorsBC.ca/elderabuse, the BC Association of Community Response Networks website at www.bccrns.ca  and the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support site at www.bcceas.ca.

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