Image from Government of Canada – National Seniors Day
National Seniors Day started off the month of October – an occasion to celebrate older adults across Canada and the life-long contributions they have made and continue to make in our communities.
The Canadian government also marks that as a day to show appreciation for seniors and to reaffirm the government’s commitment to improving income security, social inclusion, health, and housing for seniors.
In the spirit of this, before the month is out we are reviewing some legal information resources for seniors that you can add to your reference toolkit.
Check out the organizations and resources below!
Seniors First BC: http://seniorsfirstbc.ca
Seniors First BC (formerly BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support) is a non-profit organization committed to protecting the legal rights of older adults, raising awareness of elder abuse, and supporting older adults who have experienced abuse.
Their programs and resources include:
Call: 604-437-1940 or Toll Free: 1-866-437-1940
Province-wide confidential phone line for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to a trained intake worker about abuse or mistreatment, and receive information and support.
Services for older adults who are not able to access legal help elsewhere due to low income or other barriers. Seniors First may be able to provide services for legal issues such as Residential Tenancy, Assisted Living/Residential Care, Discrimination, Abuse/Neglect, and Financial Exploitation.
Legal consultations for seniors at select locations in Richmond, New Westminster, Surrey, Burnaby, North Vancouver, and Vancouver once a month
Lists all the federal, provincial, and local government programs for seniors in one spot, including housing, transportation, and dental programs.
Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry: https://www.nidus.ca
The Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to personal planning addressing the needs of an aging population. Nidus is the expert on Representation Agreements, which are a legal model for supported decision-making.
Nidus also operates a centralized registry for personal planning documents in partnership with Juricert Inc. of the Law Society of British Columbia.
To learn more about Nidus and Personal Planning Month, check out their website!
Clicklaw has a list of common questions for seniors that are a great place to get started! Each question links to an overview on the topic and relevant resources for further research. Please see a selection below:
- I am a grandparent raising my grandchild. What are my rights and what kind of benefits can I receive?
- Where can I find out about benefits for seniors?
- I’m trying to decide whether to apply early for CPP
- I am worried about an older adult who may be being abused or neglected
- I want information about subsidized housing for seniors
People's Law School produces a series of resources for seniors available in booklets, downloadable pdfs. The Dial-a-Law script also provides an overview of important legal facts and answers to common questions.
- When I'm 64: Services for Older Adults (2020)
- Planning for your Future (2019)
- When I'm 64: Benefits for Older Adults (2018)
- À 64 Ans: Prestations pour les Aînés (2018)
- Dial a law: Seniors’ rights and elder abuse (2018)
They also offer free webinars open to the public. Look under ‘Classes’ on their website for links to past sessions such as Making a Will in BC (aired October 8th) and registration details for upcoming ones!
Other Online Resources
BC Seniors’ Guide (PDF) (2015)
This 190+ page guide includes information on provincial and federal programs, with sections on benefits, health, housing, finances, safety, and more.
This resource covers legal issues that older women may face when they have experienced violence. It explains rights and options, using stories to illustrate legal information.