Concerns over elderly abuse in Dominica

elderly handsPresident of the Dominica Council On Ageing (DCOA), Zetma Toussaint, said the elderly in Dominica are being abused in many different forms and in most cases by family members and caretakers.

She told Dominica News Online that although there is a growing problem of abuse of the elderly, there are many families who are caring for the elderly the best way they can.

“We have been advocating for the elderly and one of the areas we found that is a growing problem is abuse of the elderly in many different forms,” she said. “We are experiencing and noticing that a number of our older persons are being abused…the abuse can come from caretakers, it can come from family members, it can also come from outside persons.”

Finances is a major problem for older folks, she said.

“They have difficulties, some of them who are unable to collect the government subsidies that they are receiving…they entrust a family member or somebody they trust and then that person turns around and misuses their funds for their own purposes,” Toussaint explained. “Some of them do not even give the elderly person a $5.00 in their hand…when they are treated that way it really dehumanize them and make them feel like they are less than a person.”

Toussaint stated that some elderly are being tricked in handing over their property.

“Sometimes they cannot sign their names, but they put a mark on the paper,” she explained. “These things are happening, I am not saying it is an everyday occurrence but it is happening.”

Toussaint pointed out that there are many instances of total neglect.

“Families just turn their backs on the elderly, leave them in deplorable conditions, the home is untidy, they are untidy…,” she revealed. “It is time we stop these types of abuses, let the elderly live with dignity and tranquillity.”

To make the matter even more difficult, the elderly know what is going on, she said, but they are afraid to report the abuse.

“They are afraid of reporting, because sometimes the perpetrators they are the ones they depend on to care for them,” Toussaint noted.

Although some of the elderly know what is going on, she said they are afraid to report the abuse.

“They are afraid of reporting, because sometimes the perpetrators they are the ones they depend on to care for them,” Toussaint noted.

Yesterday the DCOA joined the rest of the world in observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day under the theme, “Stop Elder Abuse, Take the Roadmap Challenge”

Meantime she called on family member to take up their responsibilities of caring for the elderly.

“We cannot depend totally on government or other agencies to care for our elderly,” she advised. “The family has to step up.”

She stated also that society as a whole must play its part to protect the elderly.

“We have to be each other’s keeper, and if you see abuses taking place in our communities we need to speak up, we need to report them,” she advised.

She mentioned three agencies persons can report to: the Police, Social Welfare Division and the DCOA.

Although some of the elderly know what is going on, she said they are afraid to report the abuse.

“They are afraid of reporting, because sometimes the perpetrators they are the ones they depend on to care for them,” Toussaint noted.

On Monday, the DCOA joined the rest of the world in observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day under the theme, “Stop Elder Abuse, Take the Roadmap Challenge”

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  1. John
    June 19, 2015

    Elderly abuse is a great sin that usually comes back to haunt the perpetrators, like the old saying goes what goes around usually comes back around. You abuse an old person god will punish you.

  2. Bullet Holes
    June 18, 2015

    Tell that to the Daniel Carbon or the chief of police see how far you will get. Doed GON ring a bell? I rest my case for now. There is more. Those who know better do not do better.

  3. caretaker
    June 18, 2015

    Rich people usually are hard working and don’t find themselves in that mess.What become of yes we care programme.If I pay someone to take care of my parents there is no garantee that my parent is going to get the attention she deserves.However I will have to do it myself so how is the money coming in to pay the bills.let your heart rule your head does not solve problems. what family, that pay a professional person if you want a good job done.Try to be honest with yourself for once and you will find a solution

  4. The ppl
    June 18, 2015

    All of DA crying and being abused , children, elderly and these ignoramus of a govt sitting there getting fat – shame on them

  5. June 17, 2015

    What goes around comes around.

    People who show respect for the elderly are investing in their own future. Our children are watching us when we bestow kindness on our parents and do things to help them. They are saying to themselves “So that is how children are suppose to treat their Mums and Dads.” Hopefully thy will repeat the performance!

    The Bible says “Honour thy father and mother; … … … that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2,3)

    We should show kindness to seniors in general. Not only to our own parents. Next time you have an opportunity to help an elderly lady across the street or lend her a hand with her groceries remember she is somebody’s mother.

    Let’s make our world a better place! :lol:

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  6. June 17, 2015

    Toussaint elderly are not only being abuse by family members, too much double standard on this piece of rock called Dominica. I am sure that you are aware of a hat took place in Salsbury and the level oc abuse the elderly encountered over the past weeks by the hands of the military policd in salsbury, Toussaint do you know that this is abuse to the highest degree. The senoirs are being recorded screeming crying for help, what is your take on the elderly in Salsbury tak ed lifd one day at a time in their homes some on their beds attacked in their homes by the military police, with expired teargas and ammunition, the very ones who are being paid to serve and protect, you concerns about the seniors is just hug wash period

    • anonymous2
      June 17, 2015

      I think that people need to rid themselves of the brainwashing idea that the military and police are there to protect them. That was never the real intention of those in charge, which formulated these units.. They work for the govt. and the govt. is no longer the people. The military and police are there to take orders from them, not to protect the people or the country. And this goes worldwide. People need to understand that they the people need to form their own groups to protect themselves, their property and their interests. The giving away of your power does not protect you. Just like trading freedom for security does not protect you. You have more security when you have more freedom. You are seeing now that you don’t have rights anymore.

      • The Real Facts
        June 17, 2015

        People as you need to have your heads examined. You have a severe mental problem. Whatever is worldwide, your comment is not one hundred per cent correct.
        Those countries have homes for the aged and terminally ill. There have been abuses but today the government of especially Canada will prosecute those who abuse the elderly, in that, those who ill-treat them. They will be exposed. These people will be fired. Government subsidizes homes for especially those who are not well-to-do.
        I really do not know where you got this information from but it is not true and probably is not for Dominica.
        The military and police have their work to do. They do not interfere unless there are riots and criminal problems. Only then will they show their faces. Get your facts straight and stop lying and fabricating stories. Who do you think you are deceiving?

  7. MR Dominica
    June 17, 2015

    ”CARE TAKER” are you saying that it is right to turn ones back on his or her parent because they have children and need to work ? Do you know what goes around comes around ? some people have parents turn over all thier earthly goods like lands houses and money to them by will or powerof arttoney and then they are abandond . I know of one person who after all of this tried to put her father at the groto and completely walked away from her mother.

    • The Real Facts
      June 17, 2015

      There are some greedy family members who want everything for themselves.
      A person as that should be reported to the authorities. The property should be confiscated from this heartless person. She deserves nothing.
      Keep in mind what Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Vengeance is mine. I will repay!” One day she will get what she deserves.
      The last thing anyone should do is to abuse/ill-treat the elderly. Worst yet, your parents. Do they not think that if they live long enough to be aged they will experience what they did to their very own and in a worst manner?
      The government should conduct a survey of how many elderly are sick and dependent on their family. Someone in authority should visit them to ascertain how they are treated. It may be necessary to take the elderly out of an abused home. Those who abuse them should be prosecuted.

  8. Independent Observer
    June 17, 2015

    There should be data/statistics to support these statements put forward in the article. In this day and age there’s too many carte blanche statements about key issues such as abuse of the elderly.
    Although statements such as “society as a whole must play its part to protect the elderly” clear ways of how this can be accomplished should be suggested/given. Also how the organisation is addressing the issues raised should also be highlighted. Too much pawol and not enough action.

  9. June 17, 2015

    This behaviour is world wide it is a shame that those who cared for us are left high and dry in their time of need

  10. Gamaniel Jno Baptist
    June 17, 2015

    caretaker: I’m paid to take care of an elderly man who worked hard on the port. It’s a real mess. I try my best but the person who is responsibly to pay me or give me food to cook for that sick man is not doing that job well. The only reason I’m there is because I feel for the man. His wife is in the States , she sends stuff, his pension helps him out too, but the individual who is a family member sends two boxes of mac& cheese , 3 tins of sardines, 3 small tins of milk for the month. After all that cannot feed a big man , who has worked real hard on the port. Very often his electricity is cut. Some body needs to help out. I get paid $500.00. I have to pay $5.00 daily to get to Goodwill everyday to take care of this gentleman. I leave work most days at 7.00pm. Tell me about that. I love what I do, But I cannot cope.

  11. caretaker
    June 17, 2015

    families are not paid to take care of old ages. Some are working for their living, they have other things to do to earn a living.Taking care of their own children,preparing them for school and in some cases collect them therefore,the elderly can have only minimum attention.

    • grell
      June 17, 2015

      so your saying its ok to abuse them,this is what our once beloved country has become,its jus love for money.

    • June 17, 2015

      There are legitimate reasons why families are unable to do all they would like to do for aging parents. Added to this is the fact that some elderly folks have no family to lend a helping hand. However, there is no acceptable excuse for elder abuse. Like Zetmas Toussaint has said abuse can take many different forms.
      Unfortunately it can come from family members and even from caregivers.

      My wife Sarah works in the community with senior citizens and their families. This is a field we are knowledgeable about. Here in Canada the elderly have been abused in Nursing Homes and Senior Citizen’s Homes by caregivers. Some of these cases have made nation wide news.

      We wonder if some of the problems could have been avoided by government supervision, better trained
      caregivers, and proper staffing.

      Elder abuse merits the attention of government agencies and NGO. We thank God for the work being done by DCOA in Dominica.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

    • June 17, 2015

      Before families became grown ups ,who took care of them? the answer is the elderly..You are an ungrateful evil person who should not be living on this earth ,because the same person who made you will be or might be old and i feel concerned about the treatment that they will get from you..As a care taker you have the duty of care and respect not abuse,as for the families who are neglecting their parents ,what ever you do will turn on you one day,you will never remain young all your lives,CARETAKER if you are short of understanding dno’s articles ask questions around you before you write so much crap,these old people if they were rich people , you would run to lick their whatsit,to get their wealth but would still abuse them..remember what goes around comes around…just be patient..

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