Director of the National Assistance Board, Charyn Wilson, left, and NAB Chairman, Senator Rev. Dr. David Durant, at NAB’s Country Road, St. Michael, headquarters, during an interview with The Barbados Advocate recently.


A needed breakthrough! This is how officials at the National Assistance Board (NAB) is describing a significant increase in elderly abuse reports.

Director of the NAB, Charyn Wilson, told The Barbados Advocate that during the past few years, concerned Barbadians have been calling the NAB on a weekly basis, to report alleged or suspected elderly abuse cases.

She said the increased reports have been noticed, particularly since several cases of the elderly being mistreated, was highlighted by the local media.
“People have been calling in and asking us to make a visit to investigate a situation and we are very pleased about that. We are getting more calls and we are getting queries from persons who would give us a scenario to investigate,” Wilson said.

“This is a breakthrough for us. We try to make sure we respond to each of those reports and do whatever is necessary,” added NAB Chairman, Senator Reverend Dr. David Durant who was sitting in on the interview which was held at NAB’s Country Road, St. Michael, headquarters.

The Director said that in December 2017, the NAB received 26 elderly abuse reports. However, Senator Durant admitted that at times he is bombarded with calls from individuals, prominent persons in society included, urging him to investigate abuse involving elderly folks.

“So the 26 is only for NAB. For me, that would be about another 37 in December alone. People just call to report elderly situations. I am constantly investigating cases, but all do not make it to media,” Durant revealed.

“But we feel good about this breakthrough, because now instead of staying silent people seem to know who to call. People know to call the National Assistance Board or they call the Chairman who would also pass on the numbers to the National Assistance Board,” the Chairman added. Wilson reminded that while various forms of elderly abuse happen across the world, throughout the year, the United Nations designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

“In Barbados, our outreach efforts and public awareness is even stronger during that month. We have projects to really educate the public about elder abuse. This effort is not only made in June, but we speed up and intensify our efforts around this time. We are always focussed on educating the public about the various forms of abuse, and not just physical abuse,” Wilson said. (AH)

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