Natali Vargas reports for Pagina Siete:
THEY DENOUNCE THAT ARE ABUSED BY THEIR FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS
Elderly suffer more abuse because of their belongings
Organizations dedicated to supporting seniors in cities say that family appropriates the family home and in the country-side, their productive land.
“I have given $20,000 and suddenly came the eviction, they have unlocked the departments downstairs and have taken things out, fortunately they have not gone into my apartment because my daughter has gone to call the police. That misses is called Silvia P., is the daughter of the owners, and it is she who is making such a big deal, I already have 93, where do I go?, they should give my money back and I’ll find me another department,” reported yesterday Isabel (fictitious name) before breaking into tears.
Short, with enough gray hair and alongside some friends took the microphone and spoke of the abuse suffered at the show that the Ombudsman organized yesterday in commemoration of the World Day of Awareness of Elder Abuse of Adults in Plaza San Francisco, La Paz.
The Ombudsman reports that allegations of infringement of the rights of older adults who attended throughout the country increased in 2013, as 3,243 complaints were received.
Of these, 1,319 correspond to the violation of rights in their capacity as older adults. In 2012 records totaled 2,400, of which 1,101 are for that type.
Predominate complaints related to the theft of land and property. The Ombudsman suggests that in the cities, they make the elderly sign blank documents to strip them of their property, while in rural areas, lands are taken away on the grounds that they no longer meet the social economic function.
In cities, after removing their assets, they are sent to nursing homes and their children seem to enjoy the properties while the elderly remain deprived of their freedom and are only visited occasionally.
“We are bullied; public transport does not want to transport us, old people tell us,” said another lady. Beside her, her friend said gladly her family loves her and has children and grandchildren very loving.
To address the violation of their rights and become an active part of social policies, several institutions promote the organization of older adults to remain active and pass through this stage smoothly.
“We travel, we craft, we remember what we learned before and felt happier,” said Nelida Ortiz, who is part of an organized group at a geriatrics center.
Her group involves men at the fair, although reluctant to talk, prefer to be quiet and observe the activities; but among the ladies, there is even a strong voice that says: “They should get music for us to dance.”
The work of the Ombudsman
In 2013 the Ombudsman’s Office, with support from HelpAge, promoted the implementation of 30 centers of socio-legal care for older people (COSLAM) in 29 municipalities and one in the Governorate of Tarija.
COSLAM was achieved in 16 municipalities to allocate budget and human resources to operate.
These areas represent centers for the elderly, a place of legal, social and psychological actions to defend their rights.
At the Fair event held yesterday, the visitors could do older adults’ activities to figure out how will they be as older adults, in order to achieve awareness and empathy.
For those of us who live abroad, we must reflect seriously over this issue as some of our elderly might be enduring this and we don’t know or don’t care about it… if it is the latter, just remember… you will also get there!