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Fairland CPF pleads with communities to help protect the elderly

Older residents who may live alone, have memory disorders or are vulnerable to security breaches should be protected collectively.

Following the brutal attacks on two elderly residents who both live in the Fairland precinct, the Community Police Forum (CPF) has provided the following information.

“Our senior citizens are vulnerable to attack as they are perceived to be ‘easy targets’ since they often do not have the physical ability to protect themselves,” says Bhaai Cassim, secretary for the CPF and volunteer with the Victim Support team.

He says criminals who prey on the elderly are despicable and abhorrent. “Attacks against this vulnerable group can be brutal. Older people should be afforded better protection, yet there are no concrete plans in place available for them. We have a moral obligation to support and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

“Most often we hear of older people living on their own after they have been subjected to a crime incident. Increased isolation has left them exposed to criminality.”

He says crimes metered against the elderly are not confined to physical attacks alone. “There has been a marked increase in fraud as financial predators such as con artists and confidence tricksters convince people to part with their earnings, especially older people who are not tech-savvy.

“Our senior citizens have earned the right to live in dignity and without fear.”

What can be done to protect the elderly?

  • Increased awareness of the problems facing older people should be done with neighbours and friends.
  • An education programme could be carried out on safety at home, coupled with a home visit to identify easy access points and security upgrades that would deter potential criminals from the property.
  • There should be regular contact between elderly people and their families to check if they are alright.
  • Police, private security companies, community policing, and religious organisations should compile a database of elderly people living in the area so that these elderly people can be constantly checked upon.
  • Neighbours play an important part in checking up on each other.

“We need to sensitise our communities about issues older people face, specifically educate the public on the problems of Alzheimer’s and related dementia, which older people are likely to suffer from.”

Related article: Fairland CPF continues to impress with professionalism and commitment

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