Senior citizens still undergoing elder abuse in society
There is still a significant proportion of senior citizens undergoing elder abuse despite measures the government has put in place to protect them, Labour CS Simon Chelugui has said.
Chelugui said some of the abuses perpetrated on the elderly include neglect or abandonment due to urbanisation, unemployment and breakdown of the social fabric, which leads to loneliness and isolation.
He said the elderly have also been faced with dispossession of property especially land and cash transfer-related abuse where some caregivers misuse the stipend meant for the older person.
“Sadly, even with measures the ministry is undertaking to promote and secure the welfare and rights of older persons in place, elder abuse is still being perpetrated on older persons in the society,” said Chelugui.
Chelugui’s remarks were delivered on his behalf by Labour and Social Protection Chief Administrative Secretary, Patrick ole Ntutu yesterday during the virtual symposium on the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The CS regretted that some of the elder abuses have resulted in death of affected older persons.
The case, an ambassador to old persons Kinuthia Wamwangi said, called for fast-tracking of the bill that seeks to defend senior citizens’ rights, saying it has been pending for long.
“The elderly persons need to have an identity. We do not want other people to speak for us and as policies are made for us, we need full representation.
“We have not lost sight of what the Ministry of Labour is doing but should go further and support us in claiming for space in representing organisations,” said Wamwangi in the meeting.
He called for the need to sensitise Kenyans on the rights of senior citizens, saying most abuse cases are out of ignorance from caregivers.
Older persons constitute about 6 per cent of the total population.
The growth in the number of older persons has increased from 270,000 during the first national census of 1949 to the current 2.7 million out of the country’s total population of 47.5 million.