Flo’s Seniors: Awareness of Elder Abuse

Joanne Robinson

by Joanne Robinson, Flo’s Seniors

The Black Family: A View Anew

Each and every one of us can sit back and relate, “I remember when” stories. However, what are we doing to bring the “when” of yesterday into our families of today? Are we too busy?  Is the concept of family outdated or unimportant? Or are we taking for granted that loved ones will always be there.  These are questions that I found in an online article.

As a community, we are going through many changes and trials.  Self- Isolation, telework and trying to caring for our loved ones, which can range from our extended family, spouses, children and parents.

Within the Afro-Caribbean community many of us do not believe that we abuse our Elders whether intentionally or not; but sometimes we do.Some of the components are: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, as well as neglect         

Physical abuse:

  • assaulting someone, such as slapping, pushing, or beating them;
  • forcing someone to stay in a room, bed, or chair

Sexual:

  • any form of sexual activity that a person does not want;
  • sexual assault

Emotional:

  • Mental, humiliating, insulting, frightening, threatening, ignoring an older person etc.;
  • Treating an older person like a child

Financial:

  • Forcing an older person to sell personal property;
  • stealing an older person’s money, pension cheques, or other property;
  • getting money or property from them by using tricks or threats;
  • committing identity theft, such as using someone’s bank account by pretending to be them;
  • using a Power of Attorney in a dishonest way

Neglect:

  • Leaving an older person on their own, or not letting them have food or access to health services;
  • deliberately not giving a dependant older person what they need

Let us try and remember that our elders and seniors need to be treated with dignity and respect……so:

  • Calling them often;
  • Making sure they have enough groceries and supplies;
  • Making sure that they are aware of updates by the government and public health officials;
  • Making sure they have all emergency contact information nearby and plan for different scenarios;
  • Showing them how to use video calls (on computer, WhatsApp or other applications) to help with social isolation;
  • Teaching them how to listen to church services online;
  • Answering their questions and reassure them.

Joanne Robinson, Flo’s Seniors Health and Care Programs Network, floseniors@gmail.com

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