Public Guardian and Trustee of BC recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day



    VANCOUVER, June 12 /CNW/ - The third annual World Elder Abuse Awareness
Day is being recognized on June 15, 2008 by the Public Guardian and Trustee of
BC in support of the Proclamation issued by the provincial Cabinet.
    Abuse of seniors, financial or otherwise, may involve a wide range of
people from strangers to family members. It is estimated that 1 in 12 active
seniors in BC experience some form of financial abuse and that 4-10% of
BC seniors will experience some form of abuse in their later years.
    "I am pleased that the Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Community
Services has supported the third World Elder Abuse Awareness Day," said
Jay Chalke, QC, Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.
    In 2007, the BC Legislature passed the Adult Guardianship and Planning
Statutes Amendment Act, which will improve BC's adult protection laws.
    "We look forward to proclamation of new Adult Guardianship legislation in
BC that will strengthen our ability to protect seniors from abuse," stated
Chalke. "The next step is to develop a national awareness strategy to ensure
that the public recognizes elder abuse and knows what steps can be taken to
respond effectively."
    These Acts, which are expected to be proclaimed in 2009, will make it
easier for health officials and other public agencies to protect seniors.
    If you know an adult who may be suffering from abuse, neglect or
self-neglect, please call VictimLINK 1.800.563.0808 or visit the Public
Guardian and Trustee of BC website www.trustee.bc.ca and follow the links.

    About the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia:

    The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia provides services to 
approximately 32,000 clients and manages more than $700 million in trust
assets. Its mandate is to serve adults who require assistance in
decision-making through the protection of their legal rights, financial
interests and personal care interests, children and youth by protecting their
legal and financial interests and heirs and beneficiaries of deceased.

    
    BACKGROUNDER:         World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
    

    What is the Origin of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?
    ------------------------------------------------------
    In Madrid in April 2002, countries throughout the world adopted the
United Nations International Plan of Action on Aging. The Plan of Action
recognized the importance of addressing and preventing abuse and neglect of
older adults and identified that mistreatment of older adults was a violation
of internationally recognized human rights.
    The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)
introduced the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to support the Madrid
Plan of Action on Aging. The INPEA is working with interested individuals,
agencies, organizations, non-governmental organizations, governments and
businesses throughout the world to promote this special day.

    What is Elder Abuse?
    --------------------
    Abuse of elderly or senior adults refers to actions that harm an older
person or jeopardize the person's health or welfare.
    According to the World Health Organization, abuse and neglect of senior
adults can be a single or a repeated act. It can occur in any relationship
where there is an expectation of trust or where a person is in a power or
authority.
    Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, or
spiritual. Some types of seniors' abuse involve violation of their rights.
Financial abuse is considered to be the most common form of abuse to seniors.
    Neglect can be part of abuse. Neglect involves not doing something such
as not providing the older person with food, shelter, medication, or care.
    Self-neglect is any failure of an adult to take care of him/herself that
causes, or is reasonably likely to cause, within a short period of time,
serious physical or mental harm or substantial damage or loss in respect to
financial affairs.

    Proclamation
    ------------
    The Provincial Cabinet issued a Proclamation to recognize World Elder
Abuse Awareness Day for the third year in a row.
    The Public Guardian and Trustee of BC supports the Proclamation.

    What are Canadians Doing?
    -------------------------
    This day is a time to share information, learn more, discuss the issue of
abuse of older adults, and become involved. Canada has been recognized
internationally as a leader in raising public awareness of abuse of older
adults and in developing innovative and respectful approaches to dealing with
the issue.
    The Public Guardian and Trustee of BC as well as provincial, regional and
local community response networks are holding many special activities in
recognition of the day.
    The Public Guardian and Trustee of BC and others are marking World Elder
Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th as an opportunity to recognize local and
regional efforts that are being made to raise awareness of abuse of older
adults.

    Law Reform
    ----------
    In 2007, the BC Legislature passed legislation to modernize provisions
relating to adult guardianship and admission to health care facilities. If
proclaimed, Bill 29 - Adult Guardianship and Planning Statutes Amendment Act,
2007 will amend the following statutes: Public Guardian and Trustee Act, Adult
Guardianship Act, Representation Agreement Act and Power of Attorney Act.
Together with the care facilities admission legislation, these amendments
would substantially complete modernization of the statutory framework
governing incapable adults.
    If you know someone who is experiencing abuse, neglect or self neglect,
please contact:

    Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia
    Vancouver (604) 660-4444
    Victoria (250) 356-8160
    Kelowna (250) 712-7576
    To contact the office toll-free, call Service BC (1-800-663-7867) and ask
    to be transferred to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

    Health and Seniors' Information Line
    1-800-465-4911

    BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors (BCCEAS)
    1-866-437-1940 or in Vancouver (604) 437-1940

    VictimLINK 1-800-563-0808

    Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

    About the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia:

    The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia provides services to
approximately 32,000 clients and manages more than $700 million in trust
assets. Its mandate is to serve adults who require assistance in
decision-making through the protection of their legal rights, financial
interests and personal care interests, children and youth by protecting their
legal and financial interests and heirs and beneficiaries of deceased.





For further information:

For further information: Media: Cindy Connor, Communications Officer,
Tel: (604) 660-4474

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PUBLIC GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

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