JIS News

Jamaicans are being implored to take care of the country’s seniors and report cases of abuse or neglect.

The appeal comes from the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) as the country prepares to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15 under the theme ‘Shine a Light’.

Executive Director of the NCSC, Charmaine Muirhead,told JIS News that neglect, violence, and exploitation are major issues facing the senior population around the world, including Jamaica.

“We are seeing a number of reported cases of seniors being abused locally, especially in the Kingston and St. Andrew region,” she informed.

“We know that there are many unreported cases in other parts of the island, so we are asking persons to work with the Council, and report suspected cases to 1-888-SENIORS (736467), or the nearest police station,” she appealed.

She said the Council works in collaboration with the police to conduct investigations of reported cases and based on the findings, the appropriate action is taken.

She pointed out that the population is aging rapidly, and the Council will be increasing efforts to meet the needs of the elderly, and tackle existing challenges.

Spearheaded by the United Nations, WEAAD brings together senior citizens, their caregivers and governments, to combat the problem of elder abuse.

Mrs. Muirhead told JIS News that the day will focus attention on the physical, emotional, and financial abuse of seniors.

Activities will include counselling and interactive sessions that will bring together senior citizens, caregivers, national and local government, and the private sector, to exchange ideas about how best to reduce violence towards elders; increase reporting of such abuse; and develop elder-friendly policies. Persons are asked to wear purple as a show of solidarity.

WEADD has been observed in Jamaica since 2012. The NCSC is a division of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Contact: Jeneva Gordon