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Ready to tackle elder abuse


SHERIA BRATHWAITE

Ready to tackle elder abuse

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Government is keeping a close eye on the elderly, especially in regard to neglect and abuse.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde gave that assurance Saturday during a church service to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at the Breath of Life Seventh Day Adventist Church in Whitehall, St Michael.

Forde said the elderly was a marginalised group and there was documented evidence showing that people, including family members, caregivers, neighbours and institutions, disrespected and abused older adults.

She said the elderly were being financially, sexually, physically and emotionally abused and the ministry was committed to addressing such issues.

“This is a situation which the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs wants to redress as a matter of urgency and, as such, victims of elder abuse are encouraged to report any violations of their human rights to the appropriate authorities.

“Over the next five years, my ministry intends to ensure that urgent policies and appropriate legislation [will be put in place] to stamp out all forms of elder abuse. Training will be offered to home help personnel and health professionals will be engaged in enhanced community outreach programmes.”

Forde added that several retired nurses and other health professionals would be retained on a contractual or part-time basis to facilitate the care of the elderly in the home and community.

She said the ministry would also promote independent living by incentivising home repairs to help seniors improve their quality of life. (SB)

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