In commemoration of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day celebrated every June 15 globally, Dewdrop Foundation launched a picture and essay competition on ENDING ELDER ABUSE.
The foundation in a statement by Ms. Maryanne Kooda, Community and Project Development Officer, said the competition is to promote intergenerational activities between the young (teenagers) and our senior teenagers (seenagers), in order to sensitize the youth about the importance of care and protection of the elderly.
“The project seeks to improve the welfare of the elderly by giving them “a voice” through the establishment of the “Seenagers’ Associations” safe space in ten selected communities.”
Kooda listed the selected communities to be: Umuode, Akpuoga-Nike, AmechiIdodo, Isigwe Ugbawka, Ndiagu-Owo, Ogonogoeji Ndiuno Akpugo, Ogbeke/UkurutaAgbani, Ojiagu Agbani, Ishienu Nkerefi, Akwuke and Akwuke-Uwani all in Enugu state.
The program which is funded by Oxfam/Voice, is “to ascertain the degree of elder abuse in ten pilot communities in Enugu State, using sensitization campaigns, enriching the lives of the elderly through access to social amenities, capacity building for their caregivers, and to creating a platform for community members to sustain the program in each community.”
According to her, the United Nations has identified “Elder abuse as a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world. Around 4 to 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home.”
She stressed that elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences while stressing that elder abuse can be physical, psychological/emotional, financial/material, sexual abuse or neglect and abandonment. The communication officer noted that a 2019 survey conducted by CGE Africa on the rate of elder abuse in South East Nigeria, found out that elder abuse was mostly perpetrated by family members and close acquaintances of the elders.
The 101 elders that were interviewed had experienced all the types of abuse and most of those who were sexually abused were raped!
According to the report, “the prevalence rates of abuse establish that nearly 3 in 10 older persons across ten communities reported experiencing some form of abuse and/or neglect in the past twelve months. Emotional abuse was the most common type of abuse observed, followed by neglect, then financial abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Of those who were physically abused, many of them had broken bones.”