Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Donna Cox, is calling on the national community to look out for signs of abuse in elderly persons.
In a statement on World Elder Abuse Day today, Minister Cox noted that as at May 31st, 2021, there were 174 reports of elder abuse: 123 from private residences, 28 from Homes for Older persons, and another 23 were categorised as information requests. She added that neglect was the leading type of abuse reported with 53 such cases, followed by 44 cases of financial abuse. There were 35 cases of physical abuse, and 20 cases of verbal/ emotional/psychological abuse respectively.
The following is the Minister’s statement in part:
There can be no doubt in our minds that our elderly community, who remain for us a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, still seek, in many ways, to share their stories and insights. The quality of our society will be judged not only by the size of our GDP or our literacy levels, but perhaps more importantly, by how we treat our elderly and by the place we afford them in the national space. They are our roots, our story, and our history, and we have an obligation to treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Today, I wish to appeal to the national community – individuals, families and the wider citizenry – to seek out the warning signs of elder abuse in our homes and within our communities. Once we see something, we must say something, so that together, our older persons who have contributed immeasurably through various spheres of our society, will be afforded a much safer and secure environment.
For its part, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is currently working diligently towards the finalisation of a suite of legislative provisions designed specifically to protect and enhance the rights and dignity of older persons, and will report to the national community in due course.
Let us dedicate not only today, but every day, to expressing our gratitude to our elderly – our parents and grandparents, our aunts and uncles, our former teachers and work colleagues, our neighbours and friends – all of whom have impacted our lives to some degree.