World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at the Houston Senior Centre

At the Houston Senior Centre on June 15, 2017 over 30 people attended the seniors luncheon where an informative booth about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was displayed.

“In 2006, the United Nations officially proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to bring greater recognition of abuse and neglect of seniors,” stated a press release from the Houston Community Response Network (CRN).

According to the B.C. Ministry of Health, as many as 10 per cent of B.C. seniors will experience some form of abuse in their late years. B.C. Ministry of Health also states that from close family members and trusted friends, one in 12 seniors will experience some form of financial abuse.

The Houston CRN provides workshops on adult abuse and neglect. Information on how to recognize the signs of abuse and identify those in Houston who are able to take action are some of the tools and information that Houston CRN provides.

Currently there is a workshop facilitated by the Houston CRN called “It’s Not Right” that focuses on adult abuse, neglect, and self-neglect. This is a 45 minute to two hour workshop, which is available to anyone that wants to participate.

“The Houston CRN plans to highlight the need for prevention activities that allow seniors in the community to live in safety and dignity,” said Carroll Airey, Coordinator for the Houston CRN.

Airey says, “We all have a role to play in creating the safe, supportive communities that we all want to live and grow old in.”

“In 1994, five communities were selected as “pilot projects” to prepare for the implementation of the new B.C. adult guardianship legislation. Now in 2017, there are 67 CRNs serving 144 B.C. communities,” said Aiery.

Airey added that the CRN in Houston began in 2014.

In a recent workshop facilitated by the Houston CRN, Airey says that an older lady found her voice and told her story of what appeared to be financial abuse by a family member.

“It has been developing slowly during the past three years. As the coordinator, I want to establish our network with members of our community from service organizations, first responders, victim services, cultural groups, the seniors’ association, businesses and interested individuals.

Airey says this group of people will educate the public about the issues surrounding abuse, neglect, and self neglect, as well as build collaborative relationships and practices to bring awareness and stop these acts, develop a local protocol so the community knows who to call and what to expect, and aim to change the culture.

For more information on services that the Houston CRN offers, contact Carroll Airey at 250-845-4865 or email carrollairey@gmail.com