Keep­ing se­niors safe

Pro­gram deals with ways to avoid va­ri­ety of crimes

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­

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 cbrm­se­nior­safety@hot­


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.

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