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B.C. government helping protect seniors through education and awareness

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The B.C. government is providing $1 million in funds to help spread awareness and educate seniors about elder abuse and neglect.

The province said funds were given to the BC Association of Community Response Networks which covers 81 networks and 230 communities across B.C..

The funds will help distribute materials to educate the public on elder abuse, neglect and isolation, so they can recognize and address it quickly.

“Seniors are an important part of our communities, providing a connection to our history, passing on wisdom and sharing their unique life experiences,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has been isolating for many of our seniors and while we hope it would never happen to someone we know, being isolated makes it easier for them to be victims of elder abuse.

“The BC Association of Community Response Networks help British Columbians recognize the signs of elder abuse so we can prevent the harm and distress it causes, and ensure our seniors are being treated with the care and respect they deserve.”

B.C. officials said community response networks are made up of local service providers, agencies, professionals and volunteers and they work to raise awareness of senior abuse, neglect and self-neglect through workshops, community events and through the distribution of information and materials.

“We need to ensure all British Columbians know the signs of elder abuse so they can address them quickly. The ultimate goal should always be preventing abuse from even occurring in the first place,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care.

“Senior abuse can come in many forms, including financial, emotional and verbal, but too often it is ignored or hidden away. We have a duty to do more for our seniors to ensure they are able to live the rest of their lives safe and happy.”

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