On September 23 and October 1, 2015 Tonari Gumi held its first seminars on elder abuse in order to raise greater awareness of what constitutes elder abuse and what we can do to stop its destructive effects.
The September 23rd seminar took place at Tonari Gumi and nearly 30 interested seniors and care givers were in attendance. The seminar was led by Todd Katsuyama, Tonari Gumi’s Team Leader on Elder Abuse. The main part of the presentation was given by Ms Grace Balbutin of the B.C. Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support. Her presentation was translated by Mariko Takashina, Tonari Gumi’s Community Service Coordinator. Grace helped to define what constituted elder abuse and made everyone aware of the wide range of ways in which seniors could experience and feel abuse or neglect. Grace also introduced the range of different programs and services available through the BCCEAS and the Seniors Abuse & Information hotline.
The second seminar took place on Oct. 1, 2015 in the Iwasaki Room and the New Sakura-So Residence in Burnaby. Hosted together with the Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society, some 20 seniors and their care givers participated. Again, Grace Balbutin, of the BCCEAS, made her presentation, translated into Japanese by Mariko Takashina.
Following both seminars at Tonari Gumi and the new Sakura-So, there was a lively question & answer session where the participants raised questions regarding various possible examples of elder abuse. Participants were very much engaged regarding this issue and it is clear that various forms of abuse and neglect are not unknown within our community. Tonari Gumi is planning additional seminars to be held in Richmond and at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. Interested individuals would register for these sessions by calling Tonari Gumi at 604-687-2172.