Working Together To Stop Elder Abuse


Elderly-HandsTonari Gumi as the lead organization in partnership with the Greater Vancouver JCCA, the Nikkei Senior Health Care & Housing Society and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Center has recently been awarded a major grant to help reduce elder abuse. Tonari Gumi is spearheading a three part program over the next year to reduce elder abuse within the Japanese Canadian Community by

1) Raising awareness

2) Training seniors and caregivers to recognize and respond, and

3) Building community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse.

1) Raising Awareness:
Under this project we are looking to adapt existing prevention and awareness information on elder abuse and disseminate this information in both English and Japanese through posters, web pages, the local Japanese language press and media.

We are coordinating with a local drama group consisting of Japanese seniors to produce short skits which reveal different aspects of elder abuse and would be understandable for all generations. We are also seeking individuals to interview who may be open to share possible real-life stories on elderly abuse.

Utilizing these skits and interviews, a series of awareness raising seminars will be conducted in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities in the Lower Mainland and subsequently elsewhere in B.C. in cooperation with our partner organizations.

2) Training to Recognize and Respond to Elder Abuse:
There is a plan to organize a series of bilingual workshops in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and other communities to train seniors, caregivers and community leaders to recognize when elder abuse is taking place and how to take action to protect seniors from such abuse. Training expertise would be drawn from the local community (police, financial institutions, medical and psychological professionals) to deal with financial, physical and psychological aspects of elder abuse.

3) Build Community Collaboration:
Together with our partner organizations within the community, a team would be developed to work from Tonari Gumi and serve as a referral point for individuals seeking assistance with respect to elder abuse. For the duration of the project period, a hotline telephone number would be established where individuals could seek advice in Japanese.Elder abuse hand

The objective would be to continue to maintain this hotline after the end of the project period. Seminar and workshop material would also be made available to other Japanese Canadian communities in B.C. and throughout Canada to assist them in raising awareness regarding elder abuse.

We welcome individuals who are interested in helping to raise greater awareness of the issue of elder abuse within the community.  Interested individuals should contact Tonari Gumi if they wish to help or just to express their views.

If you have any suggestions or information you would like to share with us, please give us a call at 604-687-2172 ext. 202 or contact us by email at