Keeping seniors safe
Program deals with ways to avoid variety of crimes
A program that works to keep seniors in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality safe from a variety of potential threats has received a boost from the province in the form of a $20,000 grant announced Friday.
The seniors programming provided by the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities focuses on offering useful information to seniors on how to improve safety in their homes and community, as well as how to avoid falling victim to scams that may target them.
“We started with the safety program that was devised by the regional police, that’s still probably the most popular session because it talks about staying safe in your home, staying safe when you’re out, just little tips on ways to avoid being a victim of crime,” said Wilma Menzies, co-ordinator of the senior safety program.
She noted that some Cape Bretoners have fallen victim to recent scams where callers claim to be with the Canada Revenue Agency, adding she knows of instances where seniors were conned out of thousands of dollars.
“The seniors we serve decide what programs we offer and as they request and require new sessions we try and devise those and offer them as quickly as we possibly can,” Menzies said.
While the program is primarily focused on the CBRM, Menzies said she has received calls from across the island.
Menzies noted seniors groups help to get the word out about the services and she also receives referrals from the provincial 211 line. They also partner with other bodies such as the Cape Breton Regional Library and work closely with Cape Breton Regional Police community liaison officers.
“The word has spread every year, I have more clients, more phone calls, more invitations from groups,” she said. “We certainly need the public to help spread the word for us.”
The program also received in-kind funding from the CBRM and Cape Breton Regional Police Service.
“Things like phone scams, Internet fraud and cyberbullying are becoming more common among society generally,” said Cape Breton Centre MLA David Wilton. “We need to make sure we are providing older adults in our communities with the best knowledge and information to combat these and other safety issues.”
He noted that the funding will go toward education sessions focusing on independence and crime prevention.
Wilton made the announcement in Sydney on behalf of Minister of Seniors Leo Glavine.
To contact Menzies or for more information about the seniors safety program, call 902-563-5351 or email email@example.com
Wilma Menzies, co-ordinator of the senior safety program, speaks during an event at Sydney’s Provincial Building Friday where the province announced a grant of $20,000 for seniors programming provided by the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities.