Help Age Saint Lucia National Council Of and For Older Persons, in calibration with the Division of Human Services, recognizes World Elder Awareness Day on June 15, 2020, under the theme; ‘Lifting Voices; Creating Awareness for Elder Abuse’. We are calling for positive treatment of our older persons in observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
World elder abuse awareness day involves activities to bring greater recognition of mistreatment of older persons throughout the world and Saint Lucia is no exception. It is also intended to give abuse and neglect of older persons a global relevance that will sustain and move prevention effects forward throughout the whole year and years to come.
According to the World Health Organization, the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, indicates that 1 in 6 persons who are 60 years and older are exposed to a form of abuse while they receive care in a community or institutional setting. Abuse of older persons whether in institutions or community refers to any form of action that creates harm or distress for an older persons.
Elder abuse is increasing but is not often reported mainly because of fear of the abuser. Despite the under reporting of elder abuse, this problem continues and has shown to be a public Health challenge. Elder abuse can result in adverse psychological, physical, or financial consequences; it can also involve neglect and sexual assault. Psychological abuse tends to be the most prevalent among older persons, followed by physical, financial, neglect and sexual abuse. Those who are abusive to older persons may retain them from physically engaging in activity, undermine their sense of dignity, and fail to provide them with sufficient care, medicate them inappropriately, or fail to attend to their emotional well-being.
As the population of older persons grows rapidly, what can be done in Saint Lucia to promote the positive treatment of our older persons? The Division of Human Services along with organizations such as Help Age Saint Lucia, National Council of and For Older Persons, have taken the position to bring the message across to the national regarding the awareness of elder abuse and what can be done to stop or minimize it.
If you are an older person please
1) Keep in regular contact with family and friends
2) Know your rights
3) Plan ahead and make your wishes known
4) Ensure your legal and financial matters are in order
If you know an Older Person
5) Encourage him or her to seek support
6) Spend quality time with them
7) Tell them their Rights
8) Encourage participation in family/community activities
9) Educate yourself about unique needs of older persons
We are confident that these can extend, enhance and solidify previous effects towards the positive treatment of older persons in Saint Lucia and the world at large. No matter how old a person is, everyone is entitled to be treated as full members of our communities. It is important that we recognize what abuse is and the warning signs. That makes it possible for us to report elder abuse and stop it. We need to learn how to recognize, prevent and report abuse.