On 14-15th June Prabhat Kiran Pradhan, one of GAROP’s older activists from Nepal, travelled to Krakow in Poland to participate in an International Experts Conference of Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection organised by the Pedagogical University of Krakow and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

The conference was organized to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2019.  It was also a platform for participants to share their experience and knowledge along with the situation of existing elder abuse in their own country, and the role of different organizations and government working in this area. 

This is Prabhat’s report of his recent trip:

‘I was lucky enough to make my attendance and participate in the conference and make presentation on “Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Mental Health: Promoting Supportive and Protective Environments for Older Persons in Nepal”. My presentation tried to give some highlights on the current scenario related with service gap, facilities and services, social stigma about Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Nepal along with directly or indirectly older people being abused due to dementia. The conference was of two full days with almost 19 presentations from different countries.  Their presentations were classified into 4 main categories as follows:

  1. Combating elder abuse in the context of Convention of Human Rights of Older Persons
  2. High Level Response to Elder Abuse-A review of Current National, Regional and International Policy
  3. Elder Abuse – International Systematic Solution Part 1-Prevention
  4. Elder Abuse – International Systematic Solution Part 2-Protection

The opening ceremony was marvellous.  Opening ceremony started with classical symphony performed by young Polish students.  There were 11 presentations on the first day and of course, a group discussion after each session.  It was really good to hear about older abuse issues from the participants with different views and prospects which I, myself was unaware of.

The first day of the session concluded with a short tour of a day care centre for elder persons followed by a gala dinner hosted by Mayor of Krakow. The second day’s session was concluded with 9 more presentations followed by summary, conclusions and recommendations.  Interested participants were taken for a walking tour of Krakow city with a English guide in the evening.

As my area of concentration is mental health, Alzheimer’s and Dementia and working with people living with these disorders, I am trying to connect elder abuse with it. I am satisfied with my presentation which made participants think in the conference that due to Alzheimer’s and different kinds of Dementia, elder abuse occurs either knowingly or unknowingly because of the change in their behaviour, becoming demanding and loss in their memory.  If I talk personally, I was benefitted by the conference in coming to know different people from different places, could share and exchange of knowledge with each other, coming to know about the policy, efforts and on-going activity of the countries in this issue from participants from different countries as well as the different types of older abuse besides health reason.  This experience and knowledge would definitely help me to shout for the rights of older persons in Nepal jointly with Ageing Nepal again in future.

At last, but not the least, should I extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to GAROP, HelpAge International, the Pedagogical University of Krakow, The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and Ageing Nepal for their support and cooperation making my trip successful and meaningful.’ 

“Thank You Krakow..the beautiful city for your beautiful hospitality..”

Prabhat Kiran Pradhan

Prabhat’s trip was made possible with the support of the Swedish Postcode Foundation