Members of the Seniors Centre listened to a presentation on elder abuse at the seniors society monthly meeting on October 2.
Jean Shirritt, Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society, described the problem and methods to deal with it to approximately 25 members.
Shirritt told the gathering there were three things everyone could do:
– See it
– Name it
– Check it
“There is a shared responsibility in society for everyone to help out,” she said, defining abuse as the “use of power to take advantage or influence an elderly person.
“Abusers are generally someone we know,” she explained, often family members, more often than not a son.”
Shirritt described a number of different types of abuse:
– spiritual or religious
Shirritt advised the group to watch for warning signs.
“Ask questions if you are unsure,” she said, “it’s most important to let the person know that someone cares.” She advised victims or those who suspected elder abuse to call the Seniors Advocacy and Information line at:
Staff manning the line will be able to offer legal information and practical and emotional support to older adults who have experienced abuse or mistreatment.
The presentation was sponsored by PVPP, the Lower Similkameen’s “Proactive Violence Prevention Project”.
PVPP also addresses the issues of domestic violence, bullying, and sexual assault/date rape, in their efforts to foster “Safety in our Communities, Safety in our Homes”.
More information about PVPP is available on the Lower Similkameen Community Services website: www.lscss.com .