The Ministry of Equity, Social justice, and Empowerment in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs will join hands this week in commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).
The day is observed annually on June 15, to highlight and make more visible the impact and challenges of elder abuse on the ageing population.
Elder abuse is a global issue that affects the health, wellbeing, independence and human rights of millions of older people. Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person. The abuse may be financial, psychological, physical, social, or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.
Head of the Division of Human Services Beverley-Ann Poyotte stated that, “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a great opportunity to bring communities together and build awareness of elder abuse; however, it’s certainly not the only day we can bring attention to this hidden issue. We can continue this work throughout the year by providing support and information regarding Elder Abuse Prevention and educate our communities about the role everyone can play in ending elder abuse.”
Governments, she lamented, cannot do it alone but rather need the support of the entire citizenry. “As a country, let us take personal responsibility for sharing the word; that our older persons are the pillars of our society, symbols of hope and strength, to uphold and learn from, not figures to be used, abused, or neglected.”
Due to the continued threat of the COVID –19 pandemic on the lives of our elderly citizenry, the Elder Care Unit within the Division of Human Services and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs have taken the decision to build awareness by rebroadcasting the 2022 WEAAD features and documentaries through various media platforms.
The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment stands in solidarity with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs in encouraging all Saint Lucians to stand firm and say “No,” to elder abuse. Collectively, let us lift our voices to the awareness of elder abuse in society so others will hear and play their part in making Saint Lucia free from elder abuse.