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“Elder Abuse is 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”. It can be of various forms: physical, psychological/emotional, sexual, financial or simply reflect intentional or unintentional neglect.
The elderly in South Africa have been recognised as citizens who have been and still are making important contributions to development through alleviating financial and asset needs in households, the upbringing and social nurturing of grandchildren; providing care for sick, disabled and frail household members, and financially and materially supporting their offspring.
However, despite this they are often neglected and fall victim to abuse.
- The Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse. WHO. 2002
- Legido-Quigley H. The South African old age pension: Exploring the role of poverty alleviation in households affected by HIV/AIDS
South Africa has a aging population, and it is projected that by 2025 the proportion of older South Africans will increase to 10,5% and the number of older people to 5,23 million, with substantial growth particularly in the number of older women.
76% of Elder abuse is perpetrated by close or immediate family, with adult children forming the majority of perpetrators. Only up to 4% of elderly victims will report abuse.
-Reports for Elder Abuse. National Centre on Elder Abuse, State Statistics.
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