Protect seniors from being victims of crime

Seniors in communities throughout B.C. continue to be a key target of criminals

Seniors in communities throughout B.C. continue to be a key target of criminals. These crimes can happen in a variety of ways and places – in a senior’s own home and increasingly, on social media.

To help keep seniors safe, here are some important safety tips:

Get to know your neighbours.

* Joining a watch group, such as Block Watch, encourages community cohesiveness and increases awareness of what is happening in the neighbourhood.

* When out and about in the community, stay in open areas with good visibility, keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and carry a cellphone in case of emergency.

Recognize the signs of elder abuse.

* Often perpetrators are known to the victim, which can make it even more difficult for seniors to break the cycle of abuse.

* Prevention begins with the recognition of the signs of elder abuse and reaching out to someone trusted for help. This can include family, friends and local authorities.

Learn how to avoid being defrauded.

* Personal information, including information on receipts and bank statements, should be closely monitored and shredded prior to disposal.

* Only trusted and reputable organizations should be used. These can be verified by contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a report.

Don’t over share on social media.

* More of today’s seniors are using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

* Being aware of the risks and taking necessary precautions to keep information private is essential to creating and maintaining a safe and enjoyable social media experience.

For a copy of the BC Crime Prevention Association’s 2013 Senior Safety Booklet, please contact 604-501-9222 or:

To learn more about elder abuse, visit the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support online at:

To report a case of elder abuse or to get help, call the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) at 604 437-1940, 1 866 437-1940 (toll free).