Elderly abuse rampant in Dominica says Social Services Minister

Daniel care of the elderly should not be left to government alone
Daniel care of the elderly should not be left to government alone

Minister for Social Services, Gender Affairs and Family, Catherine Daniel has said there is rampant elderly abuse in Dominica.

Speaking on the observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday (June 15), abuse has taken various forms on the island.

“It takes varied forms; emotional, physical, neglect, and financial, the latter two being the more prevalent forms of abuse in Dominica,” she said. “One need only go through various communities around Dominica to discover how rampant this phenomenon is in our midst.”

She said the issue brings into focus some of the programmes provided by the government for the elderly.

“This is brought into sharp focus by government’s ‘Yes we Care’ Programme which provides care for elderly housebound citizens,” she stated.

She explained that some of the clients of the programme have children holding good positions in Dominica and overseas, yet they are neglected and left to the mercy of friends, neighbours and the state.

“This constitutes neglect and therefore is a form of elder abuse,” Daniel remarked.

Additionally, she noted, very often older persons receive remittances and gifts from family members overseas or assistance from the state but they never see it.

She said these monies are collected by family members of caregivers who do not use it for the care and upkeep of the elderly.

“By withholding these monies which are intended for the well-being of the older person, you are in fact being perpetrators of elder abuse,” she pointed out.

Meantime, Daniel said government have implemented a number of programmes to enhance the lives and well-being of the elderly.

“For example, government pays an annual subvention to the Dominica Infirmary and other institutions providing care for the elderly,” she stated. “The Yes We Care Programme, the Public Assistance Programme, the Centenarian Programme and the Non-contributory Social Pension Assistance for nationals 70 years and over are some of the programmes which have been implemented to enhance the life and well-being of the elderly in Dominica.”

She added, “I am pleased to say that all of these, with exception of the latter, are being implemented by my ministry, the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs.”

Daniel cautioned, however, that the comfort and well-being of elder persons cannot be left solely to government.

“In reality, the primary responsibility for the protection and care of elder persons lies with the family,” she noted. “To put it simply, children must take care of their parents, relatives, neighbours.”

Daniel said community members must also take care of the older persons among them, who in their productive years contributed to, “the lives and the development of their communities, and the nation by extension.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was celebrated under the theme: “The Rights of Older Persons’.”

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  1. Favoured
    June 19, 2016

    Catherine says her Ministry is responsible for the management of elderly programs really? So why is there a parallel happening out of the PM Office. Now the parading of the elderly almost on a nightly basis on GIS is a disgusting form of abuse. Also the invasion of the elderly homes in the recent Soufierre constituency with goodies, rum and promises for a vote is the worst form of abuse I have witnessed in a very long time. Finally psychological abuse is one of the worst forms of abuse and this government gets high marks for that form of abuse.

  2. Independent Observer
    June 19, 2016

    When you make a statement like in Dominica, the abuse of the elderly is rampant (Synonyms: uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, unbridled, widespread, pandemic, epidemic, pervasive), as a Ministry you should use more than anecdotal evidence to support such a strong assertion. Where are the facts, hard data of what you speak of? I think it is irresponsible of you, as one being in authority, to make such blanket statements. This statement also shows failure on your part and that of your Ministry to comprehensively address this very serious issue. I agree that the Yes we care programme and other such programmes are great, but what is your Ministry doing to stamp out the problem at the root level, not at the fruit level?

  3. Anonymous
    June 17, 2016

    Miss Daniel my ex teacher have u considered
    Mr Gon Emanuel and his wife Greta aren’t
    They elderlies just asking

  4. free
    June 17, 2016

    That is work for the Police and Health care services, find the families of these persons and make sure they take care of their people

  5. keepingitreal
    June 17, 2016

    so we abuse our children and neglect and rob our elders,maybe were not as nice of a people that we think we are.i not blaming skerrit for this one,too many of us are just too wicked to each other,going to church every week does not make you a good person,anyway the farther sees all so judgement will come one day .

  6. June 17, 2016

    how come she never commented on sexual abuse of our children by some of the DLP heroes, and and those Real Men as mentioned on the election platform

  7. Caretaker
    June 17, 2016

    when we say elderly’s we mean mothers and fathers who are of age. you people need to examine your conscience
    most of you are mothers and fathers.

  8. Face the Facts
    June 16, 2016

    It takes caring, compassionate, patient and honest people to appropriately take care of the elderly especially at home.
    The Social Service staff should occasionally visit the homes of the elderly who receive help from their relatives or a caretaker. Get to know all of them.
    If it is ascertained that the money they receive from family overseas is not being used for their care, lodge a complaint. These people should be charged as well.
    The government may have to appoint trustworthy care takers to take care of them.
    Some people forget that one day they, too, may be in need of home care. Therefore, they should treat the elderly with love, patience and respect. What goes around comes around in time.

    • viewsexpressed
      June 17, 2016

      Facts, you really write some stuff not knowing Dominica and its structure. the government do this, the government do Dominica, or are you in Paix Bouche?
      It is sickening the things you just spew out not knowing how a government service runs. It is sickening some of your comments. Do you know how isolated our villages are, literally most close down by 6pm? Dominica is rural now, especially Roseau

    • Elderly people receiving home care – or confined to a senior citizen’s home – should be visited every so often by a professional social service worker to be sure they are receiving the care they are suppose to be receiving. This should be somebody trained to recognize and report any signs of abuse.

      Finances are an area we need to be concerned about. We’ve known of cases where a senior was literally being being robbed from month to month. Who is responsible for the individual’s finances? Who is this person answerable to? Is the senior receiving whatever monies he or she is suppose to be receiving?

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  9. June 16, 2016

    Catherine, DLP kill Dominica and everthing it stood for

    • Elderly people receiving home care – or confined to a senior citizen’s home – should be visited every so often by a professional social service worker to be sure they are receiving the care they are suppose to be receiving. This should be somebody trained to recognize and report any signs of abuse.

      Finances are an area we need to be concerned about. We’ve known of cases where a senior was literally being being robbed from month to month. Who is responsible for the individual’s finances? Who is this person answerable to? Is the senior receiving whatever monies he or she is suppose to be receiving?

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Why is it whenever DNO reports anything bad or inappropriate going on somebody criticizes a politician or blames the government?

      If members of “the party” are committing a crime why don’t you put your evidence together and take it to the police? Or if “the party” is taking the nation to hell in a handbasket vote it out. That is what elections are for :!: Instead you vote them back in again and again and continue moan and groan about how badly you are being treated. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  10. out of south city
    June 16, 2016

    As a race, the village does not exist in our midst anymore. The African proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child.” The village mostly consisted of the elderly when I was growing up. We were very respectful to them and listened when they talked or gave us advice. Some of us have become so selfish, uncaring and full of greed that we leave our elders at the mercy of the government. The elders are the reason for our existence and we need to be grateful, kind, respectful and loving toward them.
    It seems like we have allowed THINGS to take the place of our love for our elders. If we disrespect and abuse them then we are opening ourselves to a bleak future.


    • viewsexpressed
      June 17, 2016

      Correction the government under Skerrit invited and pushed themselves into the homes of these elders offering money, Red Clinic money sent out by personal couriers to some, I saw and witness with my eyes.
      Skerrit government made the elders and more people dependent on Him for cash, galvanize, food, toilet etc . It is a shame and disgust and the Minister cannot do a thing about it. They are scared of Skerro, moreso the female, women minsters.
      This is life in Dominica, the country close down for business by 6pm. Is so we come.
      Labour ka voleur tete ou….

  11. For Dominica
    June 16, 2016

    that lady annoys the hell out of me. both she and the one from grandbay. Poor choices for the ministries they are assigned to, the youth and the families.

  12. Big Fish
    June 16, 2016

    As it was back in the olden days. There is no longer any respect for the elderly. Well said Ms Daniel!

    • viewsexpressed
      June 17, 2016

      You are right, this corrupt Labour government has no respect for the elderly. Rather than building and strengthening the services for the elderly the government`s only plan is quick fix, handouts, nothing good to promote and sustain the quality of life for these senior citizens. This is an intervention of coercion, I give you and you show loyalty to the supremo corrupt PM. No building or strengthening of families , this ploy is only a papyshow PR scheme of deviation and abuse. The Minister therefore is blind, with no concept of sustainable development, family care and what it is to build family that they take responsible for their welfare.

  13. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    June 16, 2016

    Care of the elderly should not be left to the government alone: Lady don’t you think you are talking nonsense?

    One way or the other there will always be people looking after their parent going through hardship because of their economic status. If there were employment opportunities in the country, the young would be employed making enough money to take care of themselves and their old parent.

    What may appear to be elderly abuse might simply be a case of poverty in which both the old and young exists. Government is not doing squat to industrialize the country in order create employment. Some of those middle age, and young people looking after their old parent has never held paying job in the country.

    there is no welfare system in the country, no social security insurance for people who never held a job from the day they were born!

    You all keep the country backward, so that the poor can always kiss Skerrit’s butt, for a handout, which they fear to loose that is why they…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 16, 2016

      You all keep the country backward, so that the poor can always kiss Skerrit’s butt, for a handout, which they fear to loose that is why they keep voting for him only keeping themselves in a state of want!

    June 16, 2016

    Their own families are to blame. Too many, not all young people these days have no morals. Its also a cycle because that lack of proper upbringing and morals came from their parents who in turn are suffering because of it… one cannot put negativity out into the world and expect positivism to come from it, it just doesn’t work that way.

    • Me
      June 16, 2016

      You should know my friend, you appear to be an expert in negativity.

        June 17, 2016

        This is truth… I think you are repeating what someone else told you and missing the message… either because you do not have the capacity for it or what I said resonates truthfully in your own life!

  15. viewsexpressed
    June 16, 2016

    What new have you all done for fighting abuse in Dominica, for the elderly, children, vulnerable families. After ministers resign for alleged child abuse they are placed on a podium and have people nice talk them while abused (alleged) child and family suffer in pain and bondage.
    This government is corrupt and are unable to perform and the fight to address sexual abuse of our children is a waste of time because the ministry responsible for it at the head is weak, no stamina, no motivation and has no knowledge of the abuse campaign.

  16. June 16, 2016

    Get your Head out of the Sand, there`s lots more rampant behavior, once we want to pick and choose. smh. in my opinion, is as per usual. Talk, talk, and more talk.

  17. June 16, 2016

    Catherine Daniel elderly aduse is not thd only form of abuse taking place in Dominica, what adout the abuse of our children both boys and girls, what about spousal abuse, what about verbal abuse , what about those who are pretending to be helping the same seniors/elderly whom you are talking about and perading them on GIS News, political platforms etc. Catherine you are too hypocrite, only in Dominica you can display your hypocrisy pretending to be in solidarity with seniors/ elderly when you are not sincere about what you are talking about, Catherine charity starts at home, and we must practice what we preaching. Catherine you know that Dominicans are talking care of their elderly parent and used to do so, what taking place with Seniors and Elderly in Domi NJ ica today is that they are being fooled and brainwashed by Skerrit and his cronies telling them that he will take care of them if they vote for him and continue voting for him, ask Mammy go figure it out hypocrite Catherine

    • Yes, there are many other kinds of abuse.

      However, what is being focused on here and now is elder abuse. With all the different types of abuse it is proper to deal with them one at a time. This is the only way to impact any of them.

      Many citizens have no idea how prevalent elder abuse is. It is a huge problem. This is because there are so many different expressions of elder abuse. Much of it does not get reported. Seniors are often dependent upon their abusers and dare not say anything. Some are not capable of speaking for themselves.

      When it comes to dealing with the problem governments are different in terms of the social welfare programs they provide. Some do better than others, and I expect some do nothing. Thank God somebody is taking a close look at elder abuse in Dominica in the hope of making life better for your seniors.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. (Pastoral Counselor Certificate)

      • viewsexpressed
        June 17, 2016

        “Seniors are often dependent upon their abusers and dare not say anything. Some are not capable of speaking for themselves.” Rev. Hill, you are so right. The biggest abusers they are dependent upon in is this corrupt DLP government. The Welfare Department who is suppose to monitor and assess these elderlies are side-track by the Prime Ministers office with he personally have couriers go out and sent to favoured family elders homes. All this originates from the Red Clinic and especially during election. Even the recent by election, money flowed. That is not development, not invested in a person or family. It is bobol, corruption and taking advantage of poor and vulnerable elders and their families.
        The welfare/social workers are undermined, not allowed to do their work, and the chief welfare officer has no say and unable to report to Catherine because she too is weak and unaware of the scale of the issue.
        So when you guys write about visiting homes service is bad with lack of…

  18. Erasmus B. Black
    June 16, 2016

    It is said that any society can always be measured by the way it treats it most vulnerable populations – the elderly and young children. The Honourable Minister admits that there is rampant elderly abuse in Dominica. Rampant abuse of our young children particularly young girls is well documented. In a country where alleged sex offenders are publicly hailed as heroes on political platforms, can alleged elderly abusers depending on who they are be too far behind from receiving those same accolades? And what has her ministry done to protect the safety and security of the vulnerable groups and elderly in particular and raise awareness of their plight?

    • Face the Facts
      June 16, 2016

      It is observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The issue here is abuse of the elderly. Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated. :lol:
      There is a time for everything. Some people love to deviate from subject matter. The Minister needs your feedback on “abuse of elderly.” This is why the article is posted on DNO. Any suggestions to offer?

      • viewsexpressed
        June 18, 2016

        Face the Facts we are on Que with this matter. We have provided our feedback, you may not like but this is what it is. As far as I read you have not provided any credible feedback to eliminate this poverty and abuse of elders created by your Skerrit corrupt government. You are in denial. and only out there to worship Dominica`s worse Prime Minister Skerrit and his corrupt practices.
        Go to Hell…Got Hell….None of your Damn Business. I will violent the constitution and Break the Law.

  19. AAGabriel
    June 16, 2016

    Don’t make me laugh lady: we (the government) care… Do you care in the same way you care about our children? If I was all you I would keep my mouth shut because all you only talk nonsense and pure lies. All you care about is money, money, money… and how to ensure to keep it flowing for years to come.

  20. Moi
    June 16, 2016

    Boy dat woman have good guts…. You know dam well that these programs we in fact put in place to abuse the elderly; just to get their votes….

  21. JoJo
    June 16, 2016

    I agree with you Catherine, so please explain to us why the Grotto home remains unfinished for so long? I’m sure it would cost no more than the price of, one citizenship to fix that.

    • When you shake the tree you never know what will drop down :!:

      So go ahead JoJo. Give it good shake :!:

      It seems there are a few questions that need to be asked.

      For example when governments can’t come up with the money for a project like the Grotto home they sometimes appeal to the private sector and ask big businesses to contribute. Some must be wondering if this has been done.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      • viewsexpressed
        June 18, 2016

        And that is the best excuse you could come up with. what about poor planning, incompetence preparedness. And also, Rev Hill, do you know where the location of the Grotto Home is going to be built and yet to be completed. all I can advise is it was poorly consulted and not the recommended venue. I rest my case.

  22. Shaka Zulu
    June 16, 2016

    Mrs Daniel when you say there is rampant elderly abuse show me the statistics and numbers that was collected. Also seeing that your government is so good st upholding and enforceing the law, show me the number prosecuted. Was the yes we care program set up by input from opposition and government in parliament to find best way to be implemented? Thats how building country together works. Mrs Daniel is it automatic if i waste my young life away, never work, sell drugs, depend on government, when i make it to 70 i automatically get money and assistance. The best way to prevent all this programs is to have a vibrant economy where yoyng people can hsve investment in manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, retail… ect so when they get older they have retirement to do ss they please. I see a trend of a lot more elderly in the pits in the future because of a policy of begging and depedency for 16 years. We shoyl be boasting of less welfare not more depedency on government.

  23. truththe
    June 16, 2016

    Thank you Minister for your fine words, but you forget sexual abuse of our elderly. We need to be serious on all.

    • Sexual abuse of the elderly is one form of elder abuse. It is doubtful if the Minister has forgotten it. She didn’t list it as such but she did mention ”physical abuse” which would include sexual abuse.

      Ms. Daniel was giving a speech not writing a book. It wasn’t possible to cover everything. I expect the stats and figures are available on line for anybody who cares to do the research.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. (Pastor Counselor Certificate)

      • Lenovo
        June 17, 2016

        Not necessarily. There is physical abuse where caretakers and family members, pinch the elderly, slap them, grab their arms and twist it….sexual abuse is…well I won’t describe it. You know about it already.

        So the previous blogger was right. They have to give specifics to drive it home. Because many people don’t even know this level of abuse of our senior citizens is going on.

        But then, until they criminalize elderly abuse, I think this is just a whole set of talk.

        Catherine, put your money where your mouth is and propose an act of parliament to make abuse of the elderly a crime.

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