By Daisy Au, Seniors Club Coordinator
June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. In response to this important public issue, the Chinese Community Response Network (CCRN) has collaborated with a group of elders and volunteers from MOSAIC’s Seniors Club to produce a mini audio-visual skit series. This short online presentation is to advocate for public awareness of financial abuse faced by the elderly in the pandemic.
During the last few months, under the government’s public health directives against the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors have had to self-isolate and reduce social connections. They have been facing tremendous pressure, whether it was their personal physical well-being, mental health or family finances. Furthermore, the financial exploitation of the elderly during this period was not uncommon. According to the Seniors’ First BC Seniors Abuse & Information Hotline (SAIL), 60% of calls were related to financial abuse.
In response to the rising needs, the CCRN conducted a series of focus groups with seniors and volunteers, compiling their experiences and re-writing them into two short audio-visual skits from a culturally appropriate perspective: “Not airing dirty laundry in public” and “Doing According to One’s Ability”.
Elder abuse is a taboo not to be talked about in Chinese culture. Culturally appropriate skits are an effective tool to initiate conversation on this sensitive topic. By adopting a compassionate approach, the storytelling process can build inter-generational understanding.
To stop and prevent elder abuse, the Chinese CRN and MOSAIC organize workshops and provide elders with educational resources. This is to help elders understand their personal rights, make informed choice to step up for help, and stop the abuse through legal means, empower the elders, so that they can live with dignity.
To watch the video prepared by the Chinese Community Response Network to wish for ‘Seniors Living with Dignity’ click here.
To view video skit one, click here.
To view video skit two, click here.