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Common Questions

I am worried about an older adult who may be being abused or neglected

Last Reviewed in May 2022 by the Clicklaw Editors

Abuse and neglect of older adults, also known as elder abuse or senior abuse, means violence against seniors or mistreatment of seniors, including neglect of seniors who depend on others for care. Abuse or neglect of older adults takes many different forms: physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. Other forms are related to giving medication improperly or taking away rights (for example, to privacy, or to make treatment decisions).

Good starting points include:

  • Seniors’ Rights and Elder Abuse, from Dial-A-Law, provides an overview of options that are available to you if you suspect elder abuse. The section, “Who Can Help,” has contact information of organizations that can help you respond to elder abuse.  
  • Understanding and Responding to Elder Abuse, from the provincial government and Seniors First BC, provides information on the types of elder abuse and risk factors, as well as BC government programs and community services available for older adults who are abused and neglected.

Need more help?

  • Seniors First BC operates the Seniors Abuse & Information Line (SAIL), a toll-free telephone line for older adults and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention. Call 604-437-1940 or 1-866-437-1940 (toll-free).
  • Call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 (toll-free). They provide information and referral services to all victims of crime.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

elder abuse, abuse and neglect of seniors, senior abuse