Plight of Abused Elders in Barbados
Submitted by Mama Leah
The link below is part of a conversation I captured on my mobile phone between myself and an Elder person trying to escape, albeit with no access to his own money or any money at all. If this is not a cry for help, you tell me. Barbados authorities, more often than not, get these reports but interrogates the reporter rather than investigate the report. Only when it hits social media and becomes a scandal then everyone scrambles to show how committed they are to protecting the Elders in our midst.
So here goes:
Today I visited Worthing Police Station for assistance in helping this Elderly. Although I explained how sensitive and treacherous these matters are, The Officer asked for a phone number and called the home, setting the perpetrators on the alert and offensive. When we got to the premises, as I expected, the main protagonist was all riled up and refused to cooperate. Denied any merit to the report. She accosted me and accused me of having nefarious objectives. So we left. I was simply carrying out what I thought to be my civic duties. I got splattered with shit, and this is only the first round.
The Officer is of the sickening opinion, (in a nutshell) that the perpetrators: the children and ex-wife, are his children and wife (family) therefore has rights to his assets. On a previous visit to Worthing Station the officer told me that “if it is his daughter, then she cannot be abusing him, she might see it as protecting him and further a daughter cannot be considered as stealing from a parent, she’s his child and its her money too and she will get it anyway when he dies”. Why then not wait until he dies?
The UN Convention 1991 holds a different view.
It is this kind of backward, primitive, bull shit that some people hold dear that discourages public-spirited persons from intervening on behalf of the Elderly or other forms of domestic violence.
So I went to the Welfare Department. After relaying my story, the Officer brilliantly told me that “since you began with the National Assistance Board and they have the background, I think you should go back to them”. Mind you, she did not say it was not her department’s portfolio. So i went to the National Assistance Board did the same blasted thing and again was told that “going in to protect or remove the elder/anyone” was not their mandate.
What the fuck is going on?
Whose mandate is it?
Three RH law enforcement agencies in one fucking day and none of them willing or able to do anything. What are we paying these people for?
They all say that it is difficult to intervene/process unless the victims themselves complain to them or they have ‘evidence’ especially since I am not a family member.
Who is it that has access to these persons, other than the very same family members, to carry out these vile and distasteful acts against them? The Gardener in St Lucy?
What is evidence?
How does a sick or dependent person, held captive in their own home or a nursing home get access to outside agencies to make a complaint themself? What poppycock is this? Shouldn’t a responsible government have a Database of ‘Vulnerable/Dependent Elder Persons” and be checking up on them, like since 1991 or 1999? I picked up a Bookmark from one of these agencies today. “International Year of Older Persons 1999. Let’s Support Our Older Persons. 1999, 1999,1999 – 20 RH years. Tell me I am not hallucinating. Perhaps I am missing something.
Somebody making a lot of RH sport on this matter. No specific law on Elder-Abuse in Barbados after all this time? What are they waiting for, the cows to come home?
So where are the Community Nurses? What do they do? Who is it that they visit, and how do they do this that there are some persons left out of the loop and who being robbed black-blind or traumatized or humiliated or victimized? All these persons who have worked and contributed to the development of this country suddenly have no carat.
Barbados, is this how we say thank you?