NCSC Stages World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Photo: Ministry of Labour and Social Security Seniors, Gloria Russell (left) Delores Besant (centre) and Dorothy Cuff, display posters with key messages during an open forum held at Church of God in Jamaica, Kingston, for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day observed on June 15.

Story Highlights

  • The National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 by staging several activities geared towards bringing attention to the issue.
  • The day was observed under the theme ‘Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue’. The activities included an open forum, presentations and poster declarations held at the Church of God in Jamaica, in Kingston.
  • Acting Executive Director of NCSC, Cassandra Morrison, said the theme was timely, as there has been an increase in the number of seniors who are being scammed out of their earnings.

The National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 by staging several activities geared towards bringing attention to the issue.

The day was observed under the theme ‘Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue’. The activities included an open forum, presentations and poster declarations held at the Church of God in Jamaica, in Kingston.

Acting Executive Director of NCSC, Cassandra Morrison, said the theme was timely, as there has been an increase in the number of seniors who are being scammed out of their earnings.

“[As] the number of senior citizens is expected to increase, the amount of elder abuse is also expected to grow with it. The NCSC recognises the vulnerability of older persons to abuse and is seeking, through this forum, to increase awareness of the issue through public education as well as to empower the senior citizens with information to protect themselves,” she said.

Mrs. Morrison also urged Jamaicans to respect and care for senior citizens.

Meanwhile, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons, Jean Lowrie-Chin, called on financial institutions to do more to protect seniors.

“I am asking for something more from our financial institutions. I am asking that even in this age of technology that you put aside certain days and time to give our elderly more detailed information and options and patiently guide them in making better decisions,” she said.

Mrs. Lowrie-Chin also suggested several ways in which the quality of life for older persons can be improved.

“Ensure availability of training opportunities, technical advice and guidance for self-employment. HEART Trust/NTA to [also] expand its services to offer skills training of older citizens,” she said.

Presentations were made by representatives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Electronic Fraud Unit and the National Commercial Bank.

According to the United Nations, elder abuse can be defined as a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.

Elder abuse can take various forms, such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

Some five to 10 per cent of older people globally may experience some kind of financial exploitation. However, such abuse often goes unreported, partly due to shame and embarrassment, on the part of the victims, or their inability to report it because of cognitive and other impairments.

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