On the heels of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, celebrated on June 15, 2019, President of Dominica His Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin has issued a call for a unified voice against matters affecting our senior citizens.
He raised concerns as it relates to abuse of the elderly in Dominica, invigorating to the public to embrace the older persons as they are a tremendous resource to be called upon.
“We all have a responsibility to be more aware of the abuse of the elderly and more particularly to life up our voices against abuse if ever and whenever abuse of our elderly occurs. We can do so by being more caring children and grandchildren to our elderly parents and other family members. Visit them regularly and ensure that they are well cared for. Do not leave them to be cared for by individuals who may not have a personal or professional interest in their wellbeing. Just as parents have a responsibility to care for their children, so too we who have elderly parents are the ones responsible for their care,” he stated.
He alluded that the government-initiated ‘Yes we Care programme’ does not relieve us of the responsibility unless we are really unable to discharge the duty of care for various reasons.
To the care-givers of the elderly, he invigorated “there is need for patience on your part, treat them with love and respect they deserve nothing less. Those who supervise the care givers, do regular, unannounced spot check, speak one on one with the elderly person to ensure all is well. those who provide medical care, look out for the tell-tale signs of physical abuse and neglect when you visit or examine them at the health center.”
Adding further “those who work in areas where the elderly banks or receives money, ensure that due diligence is done and that the elderly not being deprived of their much needed financial resources. Those in law enforcement and the judiciary, be mindful of the needs of the very vulnerable group in our mix. Tardy investigations and lengthy court delays are denying them justice”
This year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was observed under the theme ’Lifting Up Voices.’ This theme served as a platform for unifying Elder Justice and Violence Against Women by sharing the lived experiences of older people.