Retired persons have been called upon to be at the forefront of maintaining the morals and values held dear in Barbados for nearly 50 years.
That call came from Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Cheryl Willoughby, as she addressed a workshop on the topic: Abuse Ignores Age: Violence Against the Elderly, at Almond Bay this morning.
During her presentation, Mrs. Willoughby said she believed it was imperative for elderly persons, who were raised with all the values which sustained citizens for so many years, to continue playing a vital role in the lives of those in their communities.
Noting there were districts across Barbados where it seemed as though persons ???were doing as they pleased???, the Director emphasised: ???We have as older persons to ensure that the standards, the morals, the values that Barbados has been known for throughout the years, are protected, and that we continue to have a Barbados where we feel comfortable and safe.???
She stressed that the elderly in Barbados must hold the youth accountable, and emphasise to them that they will not be allowed to ???run riot??? across Barbados.
She added that could only be achieved by becoming involved in what was happening, rather than being fearful of leaving their homes, or speaking to children on the streets for misbehaving.
Mrs. Willoughby advised that there was a need for retired teachers, nurses, and other skilled professionals to establish programmes in communities for young people. Those programmes, she said, could include homework, counselling, skills-based activities, and assisting those who may have challenges with learning.
President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons, Ed Bushell, also addressed the opening, and spoke to concerns surrounding the abuse of the elderly. He also encouraged members to have home security audits conducted by members of the Royal Barbados Police Force in an effort to better secure their homes.
During the one-day workshop, participants also covered areas relating to physical and sexual violence; emotional and psychological violence; institutional violence; financial abuse and alternative care for the elderly.