West Shore residents invited to workshops to hear how to avoid elder abuse

Sessions offer information on who to call, how to detect abuses

A pair of upcoming education sessions are designed to give Greater Victoria seniors the tools they need to protect themselves from what is termed as “elder abuse.”

A worldwide awareness initiative Monday aims to create a better understanding of what elder abuse is and how it can be prevented. To mark the day and its goals, two workshops are planned for June 15, 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 South Vancouver Island with the B.C. Association of Community Response Networks, an organization seeking to reduce the number of cases of elder abuse and neglect.

She’s seen many forms of abuse, ranging from financial – where seniors sign a blank cheque and find their bank account has been tampered with – to situations where grandchildren move in and take over the house.

Nansi Blenkiron, a local event organizer, said many trusting seniors are taken advantage of.

“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 a 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 give information about who to contact should a person feel they or someone they know is being abused, as well as the top 10 scams aimed at seniors.

The two sessions happen Monday and pre-registration is required. The first goes from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at James Bay New Horizons, 234 Menzies St. in Victoria, with the second scheduled for 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Monterey Recreation Centre, 1442 Monterey Ave. in Oak Bay. To sign up for the first session, email cmvictoria@gmail.com or call 250-386-3035. For the second, call 250-370-7300.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com