The Office of the Seniors Advocate for British Columbia is sponsoring a process that for the first time in the province, will lay the ground work to enable accurate reporting of elder abuse and neglect data that will be made available to the public.
“Reporting of elder abuse has always been ad hoc and difficult to track,” says Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.’s Seniors Advocate. “We need to get the most robust picture of the breadth and depth of this issue so that my office can make the most impactful recommendations possible to government.”
The Seniors Advocate has asked Vancouver Coastal Health to be the lead agency on this initiative, in partnership with other agencies designated to follow up on reports of abuse, neglect, or self-neglect of adults who are not able to seek support and assistance. Currently available data related to the number, type and outcome of reported, investigated, and confirmed cases of abuse, neglect and self-neglect of seniors will be provided to the Seniors Advocate, as well as an analysis of current data collection systems, and recommendations for system improvements. VCH will be working closely with designated agencies including each health authority to gather data.
“We are very encouraged by the fact that the Seniors Advocate asked us to partner with her office on this,” says Darren Kopetsky, Regional Director, Client Relations and Risk Management with Vancouver Coastal Health. “At the end of this project, we will have a roadmap to gaining a much better idea of the magnitude of this very critical issue in the province.”
Vancouver Coastal Health will provide its report and recommendations to the Office of the Seniors Advocate in late August. The Advocate plans to make this data available to the public on the office’s website and the data will be updated regularly as this issue continues to be monitored by this office.
The Office of the Seniors Advocate is an independent office of the provincial government and is a go-to resource for seniors’ issues in the province.