Day three of the Webinar Series on Elder Abuse hosted by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, through its Division of Aging, continued today with its focus on, ‘The Role of the Family in Curbing Elder Abuse”. Dr. Hyacinth Blake, Director, Division of Ageing presented on the topic, ‘Elder Abuse and the Family in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Blake began her presentation by reviewing the individual, interpersonal, community and socio-cultural risk factors for elder abuse and neglect. Noting that, two (2) out of three (3) persons with dementia have suffered some type of elder abuse, according to the WHO, Dr Blake highlighted the challenges that family caregivers have experienced while providing care to their older adults, based on case studies from her Doctoral studies.
Kathleen Sarkar, Assistant Director, and Ms Michelle Serrette-Matthews, Child Care Officer One, both of the National Family Services Division in the Ministry, presented on the topic of ‘Family Support Services and Strategies to Mitigate Against Elder Abuse in Trinidad’. They under lined how the mandate and work of the Division contributes to mitigating elder abuse locally and shared some practical ways in which elder abuse could be highlighted and treated with.
Presenting on ‘Strategies to Mitigate Elder Abuse in Tobago’, Aretha Clarke, Programme Coordinator-Ageing Unit, Division of Health, Wellness and family Development, Tobago House of Assembly shared on the observations of elder abuse issues in Tobago’s landscape. Among the issues highlighted were several instances of financial abuse on the elderly and the need for requisite legislation to stipulate and enforce mitigation and preventative measures. Clarke also shared on opportunities for collaboration and interventions and provided recommendations for curbing elder abuse.
Dr Innette Cambridge, former UWI Lecturer and Founder of The Peace House, served as co Moderator for today’s session, with Webinar Chairperson Josanne Leonard, and also responded to questions from the virtual audience, alongside the presenters. The Webinar Series concludes on July 30, 2021. This webinar will provide participants with information on Elder Abuse Policy Approaches and Programmatic Steps. Interested persons may still register via the Ministry’s website www.social.gov.tt or view the proceedings from today via the Ministry’s Facebook page. Presentations may be sourced via the Ministry’s website under Webinar Series.