A new mobile response team is set to come to the aid of vulnerable people in trouble. The Durham Region of Ontario has initiated the Vulnerable Person Outreach Project (VPOP) with the help of the Durham Regional Police Service. The mobile unit will have a nurse, social worker and a specially trained police officer on board to respond to calls from those in trouble and those people could include seniors experiencing elder abuse.
The unit will focus on homeless persons who may have special needs in terms of support. A Proceeds of Crime grant will enable the unit to help these people for at least two years. The program also aims to assist front line workers who respond to these calls.
Program partners include the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Durham Region’s Health and Social Services Departments, Lakeridge Health and the Durham Elder Abuse Network (DEAN). In addition to responding to calls for assistance, the unit will marry vulnerable people with different community programs to help them to find long-term solutions to their problems. Agencies such as the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and the John Howard Society will be called in to help as situations warrant.
Seniors are among the most vulnerable sector of society. Many may be marginalized and suffer various kinds of elder abuse. Those abuses could be physical, financial or mental. Any senior or family member of a senior who believes elder abuse is taking place or has taken place, has the right to speak with an Ontario lawyer for advice on what legal action can be taken.