COMMENT: Linda Larson addresses elder abuse

Linda Larson
By Linda Larson
November 14th, 2013

I would like to talk this month on a subject that concerns everyone – all families and government – elder abuse.

Since 2002, the Federal-Provincial and Territorial seniors forum has led a number of initiatives to raise awareness of elder abuse, particularly the financial abuse of seniors. At this year’s meeting in Yellowknife, a print and online brochure was approved to help seniors make the right choices when setting up a power of attorney or joint bank account with another person.

When we hear the word “abuse,” our first thoughts may be of physical abuse. Most reports of abuse suffered by seniors relate to financial abuse, and it is often perpetrated by a family member or a trusted person.

Our financial institutions are often aware that accounts of aging customers show unusual activity, but in many circumstances they are not empowered to intervene. Exploring partnerships with the financial services sector to distribute information to their clients, and educating employees, neighbours, friends and families will be crucial to identifying and preventing the financial exploitation of seniors.

The federal government has produced a series of very informative television ads that you might have seen. There are resources regarding financial abuse available on www.SeniorsBC.ca. In B.C., work is underway to implement the provincial elder abuse prevention strategy launched in March 2013. A common theme that emerged from consultations to inform the development of the strategy was the need for collaboration and coordinated action across all sectors, prioritizing the voices of seniors and those who care for them. We hope that the strategy will facilitate opportunities for all members of society to play their part to reduce elder abuse.

The people of the Boundary-Similkameen have had a busy October. I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the businesses and volunteers who were recognized by their peers, and presented with awards in the Boundary. It was also great to see the hard work of the Similkameen Valley Tourism Initiative move forward with great support and positive feedback.

This is the wonderful month in the South Okanagan-Similkameen when we celebrate our wineries, and many are recognized for their excellent vintages. Thank you to the volunteers of Oliver’s Festival of The Grape, a festival that continues to bring visitors from all over the world to experience our beautiful area that we have the privilege of enjoying every day.

Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics

Other News Stories