Black Immigrant Daily News
Former Elder Affairs minister and sitting Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde is eagerly awaiting the passing of the Elderly Persons Act in 2023 to see abusers feeling the full weight of the law.
She said, “I cannot wait to see a good few Barbadians get put in prison when that legislation comes because our senior citizens are our nation builders.”
She said they worked and toiled and now “all of a sudden because they are coming down with early dementia or Alzheimer’s they are being treated like the boys and girls in the yard.”
In the Lower House on Friday, February 24, she made her contribution during the Estimates Debates when the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs were delivering their financial statements and plans.
Forde lambasted those who mistreat and take advantage of the elderly in communities around the island.
“I receive more than 100 calls a week from persons who say, my mother is being robbed, we are being beaten, there is a set of people who come around and cash cheques for us, and they charge $30 per cheque for the old people in their homes, which is downright ridiculous, criminal. For every time a senior citizen can’t walk, can’t move out, has no family, that anybody should come to the house, give them resources and take $30 per cheque and going to the bank, some of them with 30 cheques in their hand and they’re being processed.
“It is criminal, and therefore the legislation that we have worked towards and it will soon be going forward to the organisation that will help us with the framing of it, will tackle all of those areas.”
Forde insists the elderly deserve to leave in “peace and harmony” in this country.
And speaking to the succession planning, she said that from now, the country needs to start letting the young people work with mentors and go into the District Hospitals to observe and to gain the knowledge and the skills on how to correctly deal with their persons. She said unless such is put in place “we would just be spinning top in mud, spending millions of dollars and then there will be no result in the way that we expect it.
“It is incumbent upon us to be able to do what has to be done to make sure that the centenarians in Barbados and the aged get and enjoy the services that are required to be able to help them to live longer and healthier lives as a result of what we the younger generation can do to help stabilise them.”