As Dominica joins the rest of the world to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) today, the Dominica Council on Ageing (DCOA) is encouraging individuals to show more love for the elderly and to pay greater attention to their well-being.
WEAAD was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
“We are taking the word justice as being judicial, having to do with legal matters, but also having to do with a life that is common and regular to everybody, so our message is that our elders have to be included and we have to continue to love them, to pay attention to them, to recognize the contribution that they have made to the life we are living now, because they are pioneers of that resilience that we talk about and they are the ones who gave us the foundation on which we stand now,” President of the DCOA Ophelia Maria said during a live interview on State-Owned DBS Radio.
According to her, the rights of older persons never get old.
Marie mentioned the issues of neglect, loneliness, physical, emotional, physiological and financial abuse.
“Their financial circumstances are difficult in the sense that there may be some money for them, but that money doesn’t always go to them and then there is the situation where some of their property can be taken away from them,” the DCOA president remarked.
Marie said people have to be vigilant.
“We have to open our eyes and when we talk the talk we know that we should also walk the walk to make life better for them [the elderly],” she added;
The DCOA itself is attempting to make life better for its members by putting an insurance scheme in place that could assist them to have a better way of life.
“We have already spoken to a particular insurance agency and we are looking at putting together something that will cover them in normal and also non-normal ways,” she stated.
She explained that the people the DCOA has contacted are paying attention to the need, for seniors, to cover those things that are chronic, “the diabetes, the cancer, the hypertension, the need for people to go away sometimes to get different kinds of medical support.”
Marie says the DCOA is looking to provide training for four people who are taking care of senior citizens, and to continue to create awareness and to inform and educate the wider public.
The theme for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021 is “Access to Justice”. The theme serves as a reminder of the critical need to completely meet the needs of older people and how important it is to take care of them