A call for laws to protect older persons from abuse

By Staff Writer, MyVue News.com,

Basseterre, 30th November, 2020, (MyVue News.com)– As the focus continues on the older persons in Kittitian & Nevisian society, one professional caregiver has issued a call for government to consider the introduction of new legislation that would help to protect older persons from being abused.

This appeal has come from the CEO of the Grange Health Care Facility, Patricia Richards-Leader, who said that most times, the abuse is coming from family members.

She added that, in most cases, the lead factor is caregiver stress.

Leader also added that women are usually the leading victims, with some 92% of cases affecting the female gender.

Leader explained that data has shown that the abuse is coming often from male adult children of the older persons.

However, she added that even in professional homes, can have high numbers of cases if there is no proper supervision.

She is of the opinion that the government ought to establish a special unit that specializes in monitoring and taking action on elder abuse.

 Leader explained, “We don’t have elder abuse laws. There are laws against domestic violence, but it does not include elders.”

She also called for education, so that the public and family members can be better sensitized about how to care for the elderly.

Leader opined that no matter where they are being housed, the elderly must be given the right treatment. Many are of the view, she stated, that family members are best suited to take care of their own, but that when this is being done, the family members must be aware of the special needs and methods to offer the required care.

She said, “You also need to be quite eloquent, quite educated about this thing when people say about institutionalized care, because if you feel that a family member is the best person to care for their own it is a very wrong perception brought out by all these statistics.”.
Leader also added, “Yes, in your own home is the best place, but you have to make sure that, that family member is aware of what the aging process is.”

“It’s about education; it’s not just about giving a bath and feeding,” she said. “It’s about understanding the people that you are caring for. …It’s very difficult sometimes  to make people understand…when you are caring for the elderly, when you are caring for people with comorbidity, that is, people who can’t speak, people who can’t hear, that you need to have that extra support system to help you out.”


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