THE DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES EKURHULENI INFORMAL SETTLEMENT RESIDENTS TO REPORT ABUSE OF ELDERLY

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By Phetoho Maja

  • The Gauteng Department of Social Development, in collaboration with Ekurhuleni Health Care Workers and the Ekurhuleni Older Persons Forum, visited 350 households in an Ekurhuleni Informal Settlement to raise awareness about elder abuse.
  • The campaign aimed to educate the community about the rights of older persons and the channels available for reporting abuse, empowering residents to take action against elder abuse.
  • This initiative is a prelude to the Provincial World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event on June 14th in West Rand, highlighting the importance of older persons in communities and promoting their well-being.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development, together with Ekurhuleni Health Care Workers and the Ekurhuleni Older Persons Forum, visited about 350 households in an Ekurhuleni Informal Settlement in Kwa-Thema as part of a build-up programme to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is observed annually on June 15th to recognise the significance of elder abuse as a human rights issue.

According to the Gauteng Department of Social Development’s Ekurhuleni Regional Coordinator of Older Persons Programme, Lindi Khoele, the purpose of the door-to-door campaign was to educate the community about the rights of older persons.

“We are in Kwa-Thema today to promote the rights of older persons and to empower the community to recognise and report the abuse inflicted on some of the older generation.”

“In our communities, we know that people will see an older person being abused but they do not know the channels available to report such abuse. Therefore, the main purpose is to assist communities to identify elder abuse and to report it to the relevant stakeholders.”

“This engagement is a build-up to the Provincial World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to take place in West Rand on the 14th of June. As we know, older people are most important in communities, and they play a significant role in nurturing the younger generation.”

“During this day, we will celebrate them so that communities know that older persons have valuable input and knowledge to be shared with young people,” said Khoele.

One of the residents at Ekuthuleni Informal Settlement said the number of social ills in their community was a contributing factor to elder abuse.

She said, “Older persons in our area lack basic services such as proper sewer, water, and electricity. Crime and violence are among the many issues they face.”

 

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