19 Jun 2013 10:10
WINDHOEK, 19 JUN (NAMPA) ? Windhoek mayor Agnes Kafula has called for an end to the abuse of elderly people, saying they suffer from various forms of abuse and are at times deprived of their basic rights.
Kafula made this call here on Wednesday during the belated commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is marked worldwide on 15 June.
?Elder abuse is a serious and growing problem, and more often we know too late or little about it, and worse, too often it is ignored?, stated the mayor.
Elder abuse, she said, can take many forms, ranging from physical to financial and emotional abuse.
Kafula said too often, elderly people are used to look after their grandchildren, and the elders have become ?parents? to their grandchildren.
?These poor elders are only surviving from the little amount of pension they receive from Government at the end of every month, with which they are supposed to buy food for themselves to survive the month ahead?, she noted.
Instead, the elders are obligated to share the little they get with their grandchildren, which leaves them with basically nothing at the end of the day.
The mayor noted that elderly people raised their own children over the years, and it is not fair that at their age when they should be relaxing and resting, they are used as babysitters.
?As a council, we have also witnessed another form of abuse in cases where young people mislead their parents into transferring their properties into their names?, she added.
When these young people then default on municipal services? accounts, ?they go and hide behind their defenceless, ageing parents?, said Kafula.
This situation is saddening, she stressed, and thus called on the young generation to use the money they earn to help support the elderly live meaningful lives.