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Concerns about domestic abuse of seniors after Surrey man charged in wife's death

SURREY (NEWS1130) – A local community is raising concerns about the issue of domestic abuse, after a 66-year-old now-former Sikh temple leader was charged with second-degree murder in his wife’s death.

Narinder Kalsi was found badly beaten in her Surrey home and was taken off of life support on Sunday afternoon, a week after the attack.

Yesterday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team upgraded the charge against Baldev Singh Kalsi to second-degree murder.

Alyson Jones, a counsellor, says in cases where a senior is the victim of domestic abuse, they can be very reluctant to come forward. She says they often feel isolated.

“Some of these patterns of behaviour have been so deeply ingrained and imbedded in their life that sometimes they don’t even recognize that they are being abused. Sometimes they don’t even recognize that they are truly in danger until it is much too late.”

Jones says a victim of domestic abuse may have health issues or may be financially dependent, and not feel like they can leave the home. She adds a senior who is being hit will have a very hard time recovering from the blows.

“Our ability to heal is greatly diminished… they don’t have the same physical resiliency. The older you are and the more you experience a physical trauma, the more it costs you… This is truly life-threatening.”

Jones tells us there are also generational and cultural norms that may lead a victim to keep the violence they are enduring private.

She adds another great challenge in helping seniors who are abused is that they do not always know how to look for information and resources to help them.

Jones says the best way to protect a loved one is to check on them regularly and not be afraid to ask them questions about their home life, a change in patterns and behaviour, or bruising.