Former Chairman of the National Assistance Board (NAB) Rev. David Durant said it is time that Barbados develops a residential village for elderly Barbadians.
“We’ve got to have things in place like a village where the elderly live in a community where they have security in place where they are monitored with staff. I really think that we owe it to those who have served us as a nation so faithfully,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Durant was speaking following the violent murder of 74-year-old Douglas Barker who was chopped to death in his Walkes Spring, St Thomas home on Wednesday.
The religious minister said that the senseless killing of the elderly is unfortunate, and that Barbados should respect the elderly because they are the backbone upon which the Barbadian society was built.
“It is very unfortunate, I feel very bad about it. We should respect the elderly among us and try to make sure that we help them age with dignity and grace and feel secure among us. If they are in an institution, they must also feel secure. It is unfortunate to read about their misfortunes over the last couple of weeks. I am hoping that we will continue as a nation to do our utmost best to protect the elderly,” Durant told Barbados TODAY.
The former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) senator said that Barbadians should not neglect or mistreat aging members of the society, instead they should honor and respect them.
“We should not neglect them, we should not abandon them, we should not victimize them or exploit them. I think we should honour them for the work they have done and the foundation they have laid. I think we should do our best to make sure that they are safe and secure in society. It is very sad hearing of these brutal killings and I hope that we do not have a repeat of this” he said.
Durant said that the NAB should be given more ‘teeth’ to police situations involving elderly members of the society.
In January two elderly persons were killed in violent acts. Martha Doyle’s throat was slashed on January 21 in the Vauxhall, Christ Church senior citizens home where she lived and Dr Sarah Sutrina’s mutilated body was discovered in Northumberland, St Lucy on January 22nd.