By Louise Jackson JP, MP, OBA Spokesperson for Seniors, June 22, 2012
The One Bermuda Alliance would move to protect Bermuda’s most vulnerable citizens by appointing an Independent Ombudsman for Seniors.
The Independent Ombudsman for Seniors would act as a watchdog, working to prevent the kinds of senior abuse that we have all become familiar with as a result of recent court cases, and other incidences of senior abuse that have made the news.
While some seniors who have been abused by their close relatives, or their care-givers, can turn to family members for support in their time of need, others cannot. For the latter group, especially, having someone to turn to who can assist them to navigate their way forward in an increasingly complex society, would be very beneficial.
The person appointed to the position would be a neutral, confidential and independent third party who could listen to seniors with legal, medical and social problems, provide information, offer suggested solutions, and generally help Bermuda’s seniors to navigate complex government systems so that they know where, and who, to go to for help. By so doing, an Independent Ombudsman for Seniors would help seniors who have problems to obtain the best result, while heading off confrontations and gaps in the government system.
The appointment of an Independent Ombudsman for Seniors would go a long way towards addressing the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.