UMMC to act against cases of elder abuse

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 16 Jun 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: University Mala­ya Medical Centre (UMMC) will intervene if it detects cases of elder abuse in the hospital.

It is in line with UMMC’s zero tolerance policy on all forms of abuse, said UMMC director Prof Dr Tunku Kamarul Zaman Tunku Zainol Abidin at the launch of the hospital’s inaugural World Elder Abuse Awareness Week campaign yesterday.

“Elder abuse and neglect is a relatively new form of interpersonal violence that we are coming across in Malaysia. The hospital recognises the need to raise awareness on elder abuse.

“We may not have all the answers but we will take steps to prevent and intervene if we come across such cases the hospital.

“There is no place in this hospital for any form of abuse,” he said after launching the campaign.

The Elder Abuse Awareness campaign was co-organised by the Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative (Peace) under the Julius Centre of Uni­versiti Malaya’s Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and UMMC’s Violence Inter­vention Committee.

Organising committee chairman Dr Sajaratulnisah Othman said the campaign was not only to raise awareness but also to establish social norms that make elder abuse unacceptable.

“We have four aims – to raise awareness, develop networks of leaders who will stand up against elder abuse, connect the public to services and informal support when they need help and to make services and institutions accountable to the community by creating awareness among health providers,” she said.

Dr Sajaratulnisah is part of Peace – a five-year project to not only research elder abuse and neglect but also formulate intervention programmes.

In preliminary studies, the team found the prevalence of elder abuse in Malaysia to be alarmingly high: one in 10 cases in urban areas and one in 20 among the rural population.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg. Frailty, being dependent, isolation and caregiver stress are among the risk factors of elder abuse.

“There is no simple solution but we are working towards preventing it and also supporting both victims and caregivers,” said Dr Sajaratulnisah.

The Elder Abuse Awareness cam­paign will run until tomorrow.

On Saturday, Dr Sajaratulnisah and her Peace team will attend a public forum at Menara Star from 9.30am to 12.30pm. The forum entitled “Elders Matter: Safeguarding our Elders” will discuss issues related to elder care and abuse, including the need for caregivers to manage their stress.

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Family & Community , elder abuse


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