I recently had the pleasure of presenting to a group of seniors on the topic of Elder Abuse. The event was organized by the Sunshine Group of Seniors, part of the San Romanoway Revitalization Association. I presented along with Police Constable Amir Butt of 31 Division.
P.C. Butt explained that there are four different types of elder abuse: physical; psychological or emotional; financial; and, neglect. He explained that neglect comes in three forms: self-neglect; “innocent’ or “non-deliberate” neglect by a caregiver; and, deliberate neglect by a caregiver. My presentation focused on the importance of planning (preparing Wills and Powers of Attorney and ensuring you appoint an honest and trustworthy individual(s) as executor and substitute decision maker) as one important way to help protect yourself from financial – and perhaps other forms of – abuse. (As was demonstrated later in the morning, what may start as financial abuse, can quickly escalate into a situation of physical abuse and/or neglect. I concluded by explaining the potential dangers of taking the “joint account shortcut”.
The seniors were a lively and engaged group. The morning began with a welcome song and concluded with a thank you song.
The highlight of the session was the performance staged by the seniors themselves. They performed two skits which graphically displayed what elder abuse can look like. In my opinion, these skits did as much to illustrate elder abuse issues as the two more formal presentations combined. The skits brought to life what Police Constable Butt and I were saying.
Towards the end, four seniors were invited to share a “saying from home” followed by the English translation. One lovely lady recited a saying which I think will resonate with many readers who deal in “estates” and elder care:
“The mother can look after 10 children; 10 children can’t look after one mother”.
Both the skits and these sayings helped raise awareness of this issue and I’d like to commend the Sunshine Group for their efforts.
Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention the “hot cultural lunch”, featuring Caribbean and South Asian foods. Everything was delicious!
Thanks for reading.