As founder and Executive Chair of CCRP (Caribbean Community of Retired Persons) I am distressed at reports of attacks on Seniors. I am posting this release on Address on security for seniors by Sr Supt Stephanie Lindsay at our AGM in May.
Monday, 29 May 2017, Kingston, Jamaica: Supt Stephanie Lindsay expressed deep concern about increasing attacks on Jamaica's elderly at today's Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) held at the Phoenix Central Complex in St. Andrew. The Guest Speaker noted that the problem of lonely elderly was compounded because many were afraid to venture out, depriving them of the social interaction so important for their well-being.
She noted that burglars have been targeting seniors and that members should be extremely careful. She warned that there were persons posing as representatives of utility companies, so it was important to check their ID cards.
She also noted that identity theft was a growing problem and that seniors should ensure that records of financial transactions must be secured as the information on receipts can be used to commit fraud. She reminded members that they may receive calls asking for banking and credit card information, and that no bank would be requesting this on the phone. "No need to be polite – say NO," she urged. "In this case to be rude is to be shrewd!"
She reminded the CCRP members to check their bank statements carefully and immediately report any strange activity. She recommended doing this in writing, to have a record of these queries. She said any suspicion of fraud should be reported to the JCF fraud squad at 948-5906, 948-5943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supt Lindsay said it was important to keep a close check on incapacitated elderly as there have been incidents of abusive caregivers. She said that some persons may be reluctant to speak out so friends and relatives should be very observant, checking for injuries and bedsores.
In the case of motor vehicle accidents, she recommended that members take a photo of the vehicle, ensuring that the car registration number is clear. They may give their name, but not their address; instead they could give the person the address of their insurance company and say they will meet them at the police station.
When out and about, she recommended:
Go out with friends and family, not alone
Walk down the middle of the sidewalk
Keep purses close to the body and wallets in front pants-pocket or jacket pocket
Carry only cash, credit cards and ID that will be needed.
She advised that if there is a hold-up, throw your wallet or handbag a distance away and run, screaming in the opposite direction. Under no circumstances should you resist giving up your valuables.
She suggested that seniors should:
Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors and install deadbolt locks
Light up entry doors, and use motion detectors or floodlights
Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure your address is displayed for emergency purposes
Give an extra key to a trusted neighbour
She said that sometimes police had difficulty responding to a call because of lack of street signs and asked that citizens ensure that these are in place.
CCRP Board Director Mrs Vilma McDonald thanked Supt Lindsay for her timely and practical advice. Executive Chairman Jean Lowrie-Chin noted that the organisation was deeply concerned about the issue of elder abuse, and that CCRP would be advocating for the passing of laws similar to those in the Child Care Protection Act to ensure the well-being of Jamaica's elderly.
CCRP's membership has grown to 1,940, with 91 discount partners, since its inception in 2010. The special Major Medical Health insurance plan offered by Sagicor has saved members millions in health costs. Board Directors of CCRP are Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer, Honorary Chairman; Jean Lowrie-Chin, Founder and Executive Chairman; Prof. Sir Kenneth Hall, Honorary Director; Mr. J. Lester Spaulding, Ambassador Aloun Assamba; Mrs Vilma McDonald, Mrs Carmen Chen, Mrs Karen Gauntlett, Dr. Owen James, Mr Michael Fraser, Mr Dennis Jones, Mr Peter Mais, and recently appointed Mr Sethuraman Kumaraswamy.