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One in Six Elderly Abuse Reports

One in Six Elderly Abuse Reports
Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj (middle with suit) at the Elder Abuse Awareness Forum organized by the Australian-Pacific Technical College in Suva yesterday. Photo: APTC
June 16
11:01 2017

One in six cases of elderly abuse is reported, according to a presentation made on Wednesday by Neelum Kumar of the Samabula Senior Citizens Home.

Ms Kumar said this was sad but a reality and many older persons were suffering abuse at their own homes mostly by people they depend on.

She said mistreatment in old-aged homes can be experienced in many different ways like over medication and under medication, or when an elder is left at a corner and is not involved in activities.

Dr Krupali Tappoo of the Tappoo Medical Centre, in her presentation, said the highest type of elder abuse was neglect followed by physical abuse.

Dr Tappoo, who is an Australian qualified general practitioner, said Fiji had a national policy on aging with a vision in place that recognised the rights of the elderly.

Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj said our rights don’t change when we get older.

Mr Raj said older persons have the right to remain integrated in society and participate in national development and to access social and legal services.

“They should be able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms when residing in a home, care facility or shelter including the right to privacy and the right to make decisions about the quality of their life,” he said.

He believes the elderly must be treated fairly regardless of their age and other prohibited grounds of discrimination prescribed under section 26 of the Fijian Constitution.

About 30 participants were part of the one-day Elder Abuse Awareness Forum organised by the Australian-Pacific Technical College (APTC).

The awareness seminar is a lead up to the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day that was celebrated yesterday.

The theme is: Lets Break the Silence and Protect our Elders.

The forum was held at Ganilau House, Suva.

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