There has been a spike in the number of elderly abuse cases within recent years, according to chairman of the National Assistance Board (NAB) Senator David Durant.
Speaking at a Christmas luncheon for the elderly at Restoration Ministries, he asserted that the rise in abuse was due to the numerous responsibilities children assumed.
“I find children now are working and the hustles and the challenges of work get them irritable, so they have a short fuse. So when the parent begins to behave a certain way, they lash out at the parent,” said the NAB chairman.
Noting there has been a drop in the number of abandonment cases at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Senator also suggested that it was better for elderly people to be taken to senior citizen homes or day care centres, than to be left home alone.
“We have the Jorris Dunner Day Care Centre and they can pick them back up by 5 in the evening. Then they are still able to look after their parents in the night on the weekends,” he said.
“If they can’t afford the nursing homes, they can contact the National Assistance Board so we can recommend a home that they can go to.”
Sharing his experience of seeing an elderly man locked in his home and getting meals through a window, Durant stressed his preference for seeing the elderly in safe and sanitary conditions.
“I do not like leaving an elderly person at home for the whole day. It is not safe. I’ve heard of elderly people being left alone and being locked in.”
The NAB official urged the public and corporate entities to assist in supplementing more elderly day care centres, saying: “If there are homes available, if we can get them, we can convert them into homes for the elderly”.
Among those attending the annual Christmas luncheon were centenarian Emmeline Stoute and her friends from the Jorris Dunner Elderly Day Care Centre; residents of the Vauxhall Senior Citizens Village; and members of the Barbados 2015 Senior Games delegation.