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Adult Abuse and Neglect

We respond to reports of abuse or neglect of adults who cannot obtain help on their own because of certain physical or mental conditions. We can address a range of health and safety issues and help in informal or formal ways.

Island Health is a designated agency under the Adult Guardianship Act. The Adult Guardianship Act gives us enhanced powers to intervene in emergencies and to investigate situations in which vulnerable adults are living at risk. The Adult Guardianship Act applies to abuse, neglect or self-neglect in a public place, the adult's home, a care facility or any other place except a correctional facility.

Get help

Find out how to get help and who to call if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or neglect.

How to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect 

Recognizing abuse and neglect including physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse and self-neglect.

What is adult abuse?

Abuse is the deliberate mistreatment of an adult which causes physical, mental, or emotional harm or damage to their property or their assets. There are different types of abuse, and it can happen to anyone, at any age, in any culture, no matter what his or her gender, income, or religion.

What is neglect?

Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, assistance, guidance, or attention causing the person physical, mental, or emotional harm. Self-neglect is when an adult fails to take care of their own basic needs to the point that causes the person physical, mental, or emotional harm, or significant loss of their assets.