Is this how we repay them?

post by Haaku Fuakau Fakahelehele

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” (Walker & Speers (2013).

Older adults (aged 60 +) are highly respected and loved in Pacific Island communities, so it is difficult as a Pacific Islander to hear different scenarios where older people are taken advantage of and abused. Recent headlines state: “Caregiver pleads guilty to ill-treatment after unwittingly recording abuse” (Wairarapa Times Age, 2018) and “Elderly Aussie woman loses home to Westpac after tricked into signing loan” (Chung, 2018). This is distressing from my own cultural point of view and it is discouraging to see that the older generation are becoming victims to physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse. Is this how we repay their hard work that has helped to shape our country? If it is, I want no part of it. Elder abuse has been defined by the World Health Organisation Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse (2002) as

“… a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”.  (Age Concern, 2018).

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