I have been thinking lately (yes, I do think) about my mortality after attending a funeral. Now, funerals have a way of jolting you to the reality that some day you will be lying in a box, dead as a doornail. Family, relatives and friends will eulogise you saying how nice you were. These are the ones you gave money. Then there will be those who will speak ill of the dead, as if it matters, because you didn’t lend them money. But then there are those deceitful ones who won’t say how you were treated in the run-up to the departure lounge. This brings me to the insidious and hidden problem of elderly abuse which is rising worldwide. Even in my sour Trinbago (losing its sweetness), the problem is common among our vulnerable and ageing population, with 11 per cent over the age of 60. So on World Elderly Awareness Day celebrated a few days ago, I reflected on the problem.
One time my mind raced to what I will do if confronted with an ongoing physical abuse problem, and the defensive options I will employ. I know as a feeble man I won’t be able to give my abuser, man or woman, some swift kicks to the groin area, or throw with fatal accuracy anything at hand. I cannot bite my abuser, as my false teeth won’t function effectively. Remember it is not my teeth. I can’t call the hotline as the phone will be hidden. Maybe I should get a gun and have it close at hand to blast my abuser to thy kingdom come, then deal with the other problem of dying in jail. You see my predicament, I will be in a monkey drawers, not pants, with elderly abuse. It is a no-win situation. Seriously speaking, this elderly abuse problem has me worried, as it is defined in many ways. However, let me deal with pension abuse. That’s when the People’s Partnership government, also called the Pee Pee government, promises one thing and does a next. Or a relative comes every month to collect your pension cheque while you lay smelly in a disposable diaper for weeks.
Verbal and psychological abuse is when the so-called caregiver starts to cuss you telling you how you are smelling, and what you did with your life and money when you were young. Calling you Ma Backside son, and how you didn’t mind your children. Emotional and financial abuse is when you start to cry over the dorg (my spelling) treatment, how they are spending your money and enjoying your hard-won property. Medical abuse is filled with evil intent. That’s when the caregiver has your money and won’t buy your medication, or has the medicine and won’t give you. This is linked to wanting you to die quickly because you are a hindrance. Social abuse is when they lock you behind doors or put you in an old folks home and the smell there could kill you. Sexual abuse is when your caregiver, preferably male, feels granny heart still beating. You see me, I gone.