Your first step is to decide if the situation is an immediate emergency that requires a call to 9-1-1 or if it is a situation that could be resolved with the support of a community agency that has professionals trained to assess and assist seniors experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect.
If you discover a crime or dangerous situation is occurring with an older adult, call 9-1-1 to get help immediately.
Here are some of the ways to get help for a senior:
Report to the police
Many types of adult abuse or neglect are crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada. If you have been a victim of crime or you are concerned about someone you know, contact your local police.
Report to Interior Health’s designated agency
Interior Health has “designated agency responders” who investigate reports of abuse, neglect, and self-neglect of vulnerable adults. Contact a designated agency responder in your community or call toll free 1-844-870-4754.
All health authorities in British Columbia and Community Living BC are Designated Agencies.
Report to a local agency
You can also contact local area agencies directly to report abuse or neglect:
The identity of a person who makes a report to a Designated Agency must remain confidential.
In British Columbia, “Designated Agencies” have the authority and responsibility to receive and act on reports of abuse, neglect or self-neglect of “vulnerable” adults who are unable to seek support and assistance on their own due to restraint, physical handicap, illness, disease, injury, or any other condition that affects the adult’s ability to make decisions.
Report to the public guardian and trustee of BC
Assessment and Investigation Services takes referrals and reviews allegations of financial abuse of vulnerable adults in the community to determine if substitute decision-making authority is required.
Patient care quality office
Report concerns about Interior Health’s response to adult abuse and neglect in Interior Health facilities or programs, or contracted or licensed facilities or programs, to the Patient Care Quality Office.