Elder abuse on the increase
I was delighted to see the article headlined 'Problem of elderly abuse 'hidden' ' (South China Morning Post, May 26).
The Guardianship Board is concerned about the increasing problem of abuse of incapacitated elders. They are vulnerable to abuse because of their mental incapacity caused by stroke or dementia. Increasingly, applications for guardianship are being filed when allegations of financial abuse of mentally incapacitated elders are being made against family members, so-called friends and neighbours.
The board has been trying to raise awareness of professionals and officials, such as doctors, social workers, bank officials and lawyers, to the problems of abuse of such elders. We are working in co-operation with the Social Welfare Department and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service to further this task. The Guardianship Board has the power to make an emergency guardianship order to protect mentally incapacitated elders from danger, maltreatment or exploitation when they are in need of immediate protection. We can also make ordinary guardianship orders on broader grounds.
We have just published a fact sheet, Abuse of mentally incapacitated elders - how the Guardianship Board can help. For further information, readers can e-mail email@example.com or visit our Web site at www.adultguardianship.org.hk or they can ring us at 2369 1999.