Message from the CEO, Femada Shamam

Elder abuse is one of those shameful things that no one wants to talk about. Least of all the victims.

Last year we investigated a case where a bedridden widow was living in fear of her son, a violent drug addict who sold most of the furniture in the house, and routinely stole her pension money.

Fortunately, a concerned neighbour tipped us off and we were able to offer the woman a safe home in one of our buildings. But she refused to press charges. “He is my son,” she says.

High unemployment rates, poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, and the breakdown of the family all contribute to elder abuse. Older people are seen as ‘soft’ targets, unable or unwilling to fight back. But we, as Tafta, will fight to protect them from physical, emotional and financial harm.

I am hopeful that our new national toll-free Elder Abuse Helpline will result in more cases being exposed and investigated, with elders who are affected receiving the necessary services to feel safe again.

It’s one of many reasons why I hope we can count on your continued support in the year ahead. Together we can ensure that vulnerable elders are protected.