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Concern raised over elder abuse

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children has highlighted the abuse of the elderly. Marking World Elder Abuse Day, which takes place on 15 June, the Manenberg-based facility has noted an increase in elderly women seeking their services due to abuse by a younger relative.

“Elderly people are vulnerable to physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse. As they age, many also experience economic abuse when relatives or third parties begin to exploit them. Increasingly, family members will accompany the elderly to pension pay points just to get access to their money,” says Dorothea Gertse, head social worker at the Centre.

A number of factors, including fragmented family life and substance abuse, can contribute to elder abuse; “The older women seeking assistance at the shelter have often taken on the role of caregiver to their grandchildren. Financially they cannot take care of the dependents they’ve been landed with and they cannot cope. Substance abuse is a major contributor to verbal and emotional elder abuse; adult children bully their parents into enabling their habit,” says Gertse.

ENDS

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Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:

Emma Proctor

emma@be-cause.co.za

021 447 1082 / 072 930 4412

On behalf of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children:

Director: Shaheema McLeod

 

 

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