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March 3, 2008

The Elderly Abandoned in Nursing Homes (Jamaica)

The elderly abandoned in nursing homes published:
Sunday March 2, 2008
Avia Collinder, Sunday Gleaner Writer

Many of the nation's elderly, placed in the care of nursing homes, are living very lonely lives. In many cases their relatives have completely passed on the burden of care to others. The monthly fees are paid, but there are no visits, letters, cards or phone calls. In fact, the less money the home costs, the less the care and interest shown by relatives.
It is a curious fact, but Denise Eldemire-Shearer, an executive of the National Council for the Aged, says for "those who are put in lower income homes, there are all kinds of problems in family relations. Some place them there out of feeling obligated and duty bound, but there are no bonds, there were none then and none now." Their relatives do not go to look for them.
Denise Simmonds (name changed), who helps to run a home owned by her church in Vineyard Town, notes that in general the relatives hardly ever come to visit - not even during the holidays.

Emotional abandonment
Counselling psychologist Joan Rhule, who specialises in the care of the aged, says the emotional abandonment of the old "is nothing rare." According to Rhule, her church is forced to care for several members whose families have left them homeless and alone.

(Abridged Article) SOURCE: jamaicaGleaner
Abandonment of the elderly is a growing problem. Can we consider those who abandoned elderly parents in nursing homes as Elder Abusers or is it just family dynamics. Perhaps researchers can look into this issue.
I am not aware of a law (other than in Singapore and India) that will punish adult children who abandon their parents. Oops! In Singapore there is an Act 'Maintenance of Parents Act', not quite sure if adult children who abandoned their elderly parents, are punished.
Please let me know if I am mistaken.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything said above to the letter T. Over a year ago, my wife and I became part of a Nursing Home Ministry where we on a weekly basis have been part of a very small group of dedicated people who have been providing spiritual support to the residents. On our room to room visits we have noticed exactly what you're commenting on , however one elderly lady who has been abandoned by family has caught our attention very deeply. So much so to the point where we have sacrificed much more of our personal time to spent it with her at the home. As my wife so adequately puts it, just to see the smile on her face when we come into her room and she has someone to talk to. Most of the time we don't understand what she's talking about because it's apparent that she is suffering from some form of dementia. However, if nothing more than just our presence in her space makes the sad look on her face go away then we've accomplished a lot. As a matter of fact, the Aides have told us that she talks more and interacts better. Our concerns, however, go beyond the non relative visitations that we make. What we'd like to do is to seek legal guardianship for this lady. She has some medical issues, for example, thht should be pursued by family, if they cared about her. We do, even if they don't. My question therefore, is what are the steps to take to potentially make this happen. I know even for the unattached family it could be cause for concern , but then again, maybe not. Can someone direct me where I can go to take the next step. Thank you.

Zeeah said...

Hi! I found this website as i was doing research for an essay regarding elder care. i totally agree with what you said. btw, here's a link talking abt singapore's maintenance act..



Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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