Seniors First BC

Sadly, we have all heard stories of a senior who has been financially, emotionally, or physically abused, by a stranger or even a close family member.

Seniors First BC is a charitable, non-profit society that provides information, legal advocacy, support, and referrals to older adults across BC who are dealing with issues affecting their well-being, as well as those who care for them.

The goal of Seniors First BC is to allow all elderly residents of BC to live with dignity
and be free of abuse of any kind.

The agency offers six different programs:

1 – Seniors Abuse & Information Line (604-437-1940 or 1-866-437-1940)

A phone line that is available to seniors and those that care about them to have a confidential conversation with a professionally trained intake assessment worker. Language interpretation is available when calling.

Intake works can assist with:

  • Identifying caller’s issues and immediate, short-term, or potential long-term needs.
  • Providing information about abuse, neglect, and self-neglect, and how to report it.
  • Providing information about and completing intake for callers to access Seniors First BC’s other programs.
  • Providing general information and referrals to community and/or government services.

The BC Ministry of Health funds this service.

2 – Victim Services

  • Telephone-based support for seniors (age 50+) who have experienced crime and/or abuse.
  • Can provide emotional support, safety planning, information about and assistance with navigating the criminal justice system, assistance accessing social and community services such as shelters, transition houses, and counselling.
  • This service is funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General along with Victim Services Division.
  • Access to this program is provided by calling SAIL and requesting a referral intake.

3 – Elder Law Clinic

Pro Bono legal advice is available to eligible low-income seniors (age 55+) on various legal matters such as:

  • Preparing documents, such as Wills, Powers of Attorney (PoA) and Representation Agreements (RA) – for callers in the Lower Mainland.
  • Assistance in matters related to adult guardianship.
  • Explaining legal proceedings on how the court system works and what to expect should one need to go to court.
  • Reviewing court documents and preparing cases and submissions.
  • General legal advice (except for family law or criminal law matters).
  • Access this program by calling SAIL and requesting a referral intake. .

The Law Foundation of BC funds this service

4 – Advance Planning Clinics

  • For eligible low-income seniors (age 55+), a team of legal professionals can assist with the drafting and executing of Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Representation Agreements at no cost.
  • Clinic locations are available in Sechelt, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, Williams Lake, Prince George, and Haida Gwaii (Massett & Skidegate).
  • Access this program by calling SAIL and requesting a referral intake.

The Law Foundation of BC funds this service

5 – Legal Advocacy Program

  • Legal advocates can provide free advice and representation to eligible low-income seniors (age 55+) on legal issues dealing with residential tenancy/housing, debt, and seniors’ pensions & benefits.
  • Access this program by calling SAIL and requesting a referral intake.

The Law Foundation of BC funds this service

6 – Public Education & Outreach

  • Designed to support the community by providing educational materials and hosting presentations that raise awareness of the issues affecting many seniors.
  • In-person presentations can be organized with local community senior centers, along with virtual meetings through internet programs such as Zoom.
  • Information about upcoming learning events can be found on the Events page of their website: https://seniorsfirstbc.ca/news-events/events/
  • Organizations who are interested in hosting a presentation with Seniors First BC can complete the request form on the website.

Full information about Seniors First BC and each of their programs can be found on
their website, available here: https://seniorsfirstbc.ca/programs/