Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde has affirmed her ministry’s commitment to tackling elder abuse on the island.
Speaking at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day church service held at the Breath of Life Seventh Day Adventist Church yesterday, Forde said that during the next five years, her ministry will implement a series of programmes to address this issue.
She said her ministry would be collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to offer training to home-helpers.
Retired nurses and health care professionals will also be retained on a contractual basis to facilitate the care of elderly in homes and community facilities, Forde said.
With more than ten per cent of the Barbadian population being 65 years and older, Forde also disclosed that her ministry would be implementing home adaptations “to improve the day to day quality of life of our seniors, helping them live with dignity and maintain their autonomy for as long as possible”.
“Without appropriate and sustained interventions and social protection as well as support for caregivers, segments of our elderly population will be left at risk and become susceptible for elder abuse,” Forde said, while calling on the victims of elder abuse to speak out and report any violation of their human rights to the appropriate authorities.
“My hope . . . is that individually and collectively we will commit to the prevention of elder abuse so that every senior citizen in this beautiful nation can live a life free of elder abuse and discrimination,” she added.