LAW CORNER

2017-06-21 06:02

ARE you aware of the existence of an Act specifically promulgated for the protection of older persons? Yes, that’s right.

The Older Persons Act No. 13 of 2006 commenced on April 1, 2010 and has since then been a means of protection for the most valued members of our society.

The purpose and objectives of the Act are as to status, security, well-being, integrity and rights of older persons in all spheres within South Africa in light of the Constitutional values of dignity, social justice and fundamental human rights.

As older persons are considered as being among the most vulnerable in society the Department of Social Development has decided to amend the Act in order to ensure that more protection and regulation is afforded to older persons.

It is paramount that you take note of the proposed amendments as they may have a direct effect on the protection afforded to you and your loved ones. The proposed amendments include, among others, the following:

• the introduction of new definitions such as assisted living facility, frail care facility and independent living facility;

• amendments to definitions such as caregiver, physical abuse, threat of physical violence and older person;

• to allow for the removal of an older person from an unsafe environment by a social worker or police officer without the requirement of first obtaining a Court Order and the placing of such persons in temporary safe care;

• to make provision for the elderly or a member of the public to report abuse to a health care worker or a social worker;

• introduction of more regulation and oversight by government institutions and stakeholders of facilities which provide care for older persons; and

• the addition of certain sanctions for non-compliance of the provisions of the Act.

The Department of Social Development has called on the public to make written recommendations on the proposed amendments by no later than 4pm on June 30. 2017.

Submissions must be sent by post to:

Attention of Naomi Maloba

Department of Social Development

Private Bag x901

Pretoria

0001

Please contact Bilal Osman (bilalo@jleslie.co.za) at J Leslie Smith & Company Inc for a copy of the complete draft Bill which will be emailed to you.

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