Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
1 in 6 older adults have been abused in the past year. Recognize the different forms of elder abuse.
I will like to discuss 2 types of abuse prevalent in Nigeria today – Financial exploitation and abandonment.
Pension Officer: Hello, good morning
Grandma: Good morning, please who am I speaking with?
Pension Officer: Are you Mrs XYZ?
Grandma: Yes, I am Mrs XYZ, please what is your name?
Pension Officer: Okay ma, I’m calling from Abuja and your retirement file is right in front of me for verification.
Pension Officer: You are expecting X million naira as stated in your file. Please, can you give me your BVN number, account number… to speed up your verification and pay your benefits into your account?
Grandma: Okay, please hold on, let me get my glasses
Pension Officer: I will call you back ma, or you can call me and he cuts off
Grandma: These people have started again, we have given them all the numbers they want, this is how they will defraud retired people of their benefits. …
(Pension officer calls back and grandma picked up but she didn’t utter a word and wasted the officer’s calling credit).
The above dialogue is a typical scenario of what pensioners go through in Nigeria. Old people are subjected to go through a complicated process all in the name of verification which takes place over and over again exposing them to all manner of abuse. Then the time comes to get their benefits and they are defrauded by calls from fake pension officers.
Please if you have older adults around you that have experienced such fraudulent calls, I will like you to comment and air your views on how pensioners can be treated better as regards their retirement benefits in order to stop exploiting them financially.
We all have shared responsibilities coupled with managing different crisis ranging from political, environmental, economical and social problems staring us in the face. Neglecting our elders is sometimes not intentional but most older adults are experiencing loneliness that could develop into depression and other non-communicable diseases. There are various activities old people can engage in to avoid this but we must support them to get involved and live a graceful grey life. I will be more than glad to hear your views on these 2 areas. Thank you.