THE Association for the Aged (Tafta) and collaborative partners in the field of elder care are calling on members of the Durban community to join them on Thursday, as they take to the streets of central Durban to start their two-day commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, held annually around the world on 15 June.
The awareness walk is expected to be attended by over 500 members of surrounding Durban communities and Tafta elders. The event aims to bring attention to the various forms of elder abuse taking place in society, explained Tafta CEO Femada Shamam. Shamam added that the elder care association had taken their commemorative event a step further with a lead up to the event with several Elder Abuse dialogues having taken place in and around Durban, by trained facilitators in the past month.
“Elder abuse is often described as a “silent epidemic”, not just here in South Africa, but around the world. Neglect and abuse of the elderly goes further than just physical, and it is Tafta’s aim to educate elders and the broader community on elder rights to ensure protection and dignity of the elderly, and a world free from discrimination. The dialogue sessions have been held in Sydenham, Inanda, Durban Central and Bellair which will now culminate in further sessions on 15 June 2018.”
According to the World Health Organisation, more than one in 10 older adults may experience some type of abuse, but only one in five cases or fewer are reported.
“Elder abuse is recognised as a social problem of increasing magnitude. With an increase in the ageing population, it is also envisaged that the occurrence of elder abuse will undoubtedly increase. Although the protection of older persons falls within the scope of the Older Persons Act with the Department of Social Development being the administrator of this Act, the Department of Health perceives the abuse of older persons as a multifactorial issue requiring intervention from all sectors in a collaborative manner,” explained Elmarie van der Walt, Assistant Director: Geriatrics at the National Department of Health.
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