In Angola, the ill-treatment suffered by many elderly people contributes a lot to their departure from the home and their families (Ministry of Welfare Social Reintegration). Although some families take care of their elderly parents, others subject their parents to physical and emotional abuse. This results in a reduced quality of life for the elderly. “The disrespect that old people receive from their relatives compel them to leave their residences to other places, seeking better living conditions”, said Berta Mendonça, the Deputy Provincial Director of Welfare and Social Reintegration.
Since old age homes are not widespread in Angola, and elder abuse is rarely reported, the elderly end up living on the streets. Ms. Mendonça explains that “the abuse situation is also the cause behind the increase in the number of old people who are street beggars”. In addition to being a marginalized and vulnerable group, elderly street beggars are at risk for diseases, malnutrition, and mental health issues. There are very few health systems that currently address this problem because elderly street begging is common in Africa. Governments should make this a priority by launching elderly home care and adult day programs, for instance. Moreover, NGOs and humanitarians can play a part too. This video portrays the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Namibia.