LETHBRIDGE: Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and to help bring the issue to light Regional Police and the Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network (LEARN) are hosting a community barbecue.
Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Coordinator Jennifer Payne noted that the most common issue they see both locally and nationally comes from those closest to the victim, "A very common situation is that of an older person being manipulated by either their child or their grandchild, into giving them money or access to bank accounts or control over property or other such assets." Payne noted that because the victims don't want to jeopardize their relationship or get a loved one into trouble, they often won't ask for help until things start to get really bad.
Payne also acknowledged that just like anywhere else, some local seniors have to deal with physical, sexual, psychological and medical abuse.
She added that if you see signs of elder abuse, such as changes in behavior or financial issues, you should let the individual know that there is help and point them in the right direction. She noted that you can learn more and get help at www.albertaelderabuse.ca or call 403-329-7396. Payne also noted that in more serious cases you can call them yourself and pass along the seniors name and contact information so they can look into the matter.
There will be barbecues at both Lethbridge Save-On Foods locations from 11:30-am to 2:30pm, with all proceeds raised going towards the annual Seniors Safety Calendar.