Nov 8, 2010, 11:24 AM
The problem of abuse of elderly persons may not be a serious issue in The Gambia, but it does occur.
As a result, concerted efforts are needed to ensure maximum protection, care and support for the elderly in our society.
The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025.
According to the UN, around 4 to 6 percent of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home.
Such maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
The incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
Such abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.
Supporting the elderly will help them live more dignified lives and continue contributing to national development.
As elders become more physically frail, they are less able to stand up to the day to day challenges in life, and as a result they need to be protected from harm.
Be it physical, sexual or emotional abuse, all forms of abuse made against the elderly persons must stop in our communities.
They deserve better treatment and respect from all including their grandchildren and neighbours.
People should not take advantage of the age of the elderly and cheat them financially or otherwise.
The younger generation must learn to respect their elders and elders of other people.
Elderly people must be protected for the good of society and peace.