Today (Wednesday) marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day and BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says it is something that is under reported.
The province estimates that 10% of seniors may experience a form of abuse at some point in their life.
According to Mackenzie, usually the abuse will be financial but not always.
She added that sometimes seniors experience physical, emotional or sexual abuse often at the hands of care givers.
Mackenzie explained what to do if you think an elder is being abused.
“I think the simplest message to give is if they suspect someone is being subjected to elder abuse either physical, emotional, or financial, if they call 2-1-1, the agent will be able to direct them on where they should report it because it is different depending on where you are in the province,” she said.
Mackenzie added that while some data has come in showing an increase in elder abuse it is unclear whether those statistics will continue to grow.
She also said everyone has a role to play in combating elder abuse.
“Combating elder abuse is going to take the eyes and ears of everyone in the community. Government does have a role to play, absolutely but it isn’t going to work if each and every one of us don’t keep our eyes and ears open to what doesn’t look right,” Mackenzie added.
Additionally, she said going forward the community should learn what elder abuse does look like and where someone can report it if they see it.