Elderly woman removed from home

An elderly woman who residents said was suffering in silence was rescued by the state today.

Just after 11 a.m., National Assistance Board (NAB) officials removed an emaciated 76-year-old Harriet Codrington from her Massiah Street, St John home where she was living with her caretaker Antonio Codrington.

The elderly woman, who is blind, willingly made the move to the Geriatric Hospital.

“She wanted to move. She seemed to like the idea of moving this morning. She felt at peace, relieved. She left voluntarily and gave us all the assistance we needed,” NAB Chairman Senator David Durant told Barbados TODAY.

It was around 9 a.m. that NAB officials arrived at the home before calling the police to help them gain entry into the wooden structure.

But this elderly woman’s case is not new to the public.

Harriet Codrington being removed from her home by NAB employees this morning.
Harriet Codrington being removed from her home by NAB employees this morning.

On May 22, an NAB team led by Durant visited the home after residents had complained that Codrington was being abused by her caretaker, who denied the claim at the time.

A subsequent examination by NAB registered nurse Esther Bend revealed no evidence of abuse and no signs of bedsores or bruises.

At that time, the elderly woman pleaded with the authorities to allow her to remain at her home, where she was being cared for by her niece.

However, two male residents who had been listening in as Durant spoke to reporters interjected, making it known to the NAB chairman that they thought leaving the elderly woman in that setting was a “bad move”.

Despite the residents’ outcry, Durant and his team, accompanied by Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson, decided the woman would be left in the household, with the promise that the situation would be closely monitored. NAB also promised to provide Codrington with care and meals.

NAB personnel have since been finding it impossible to enter the home, Durant revealed.

“Today, Codrington showed signs of being malnourished and she was being left for an almost entire day in her home, which could expose her to serious danger and bodily harm.

“And this morning, we found her alone in the house so we got the police and we were able to enter and take her out. She will be under 24 hours care,” the NAB chairman said.

When Barbados TODAY visited the community this evening, residents who requested anonymity, said they were pleased with the intervention, which they said was long overdue.

“That poor old woman was getting treat bad in there for all this time. Don’t just talk about wanting to stop elderly abuse, I want them charge the woman that supposed to be taking care of she. She [caretaker] should get charge for neglect and making that old woman suffer,” one upset male resident ranted.

Meanwhile, a neighbour said while he was at work when the move was made, coming home to the news that he would no longer have to hear Codrington’s cries for help, was satisfying. He alleged that way too often the elderly woman was left alone for extended periods.

“The doctors would come and she [caretaker] won’t let them in. Today ain’t the first time police come and had to break in to get in there.

“People ain’t see that old woman in donkey years. Some people ain’t even know that she still living. Other family don’t come around because them get run,” the resident told Barbados TODAY.

Meanwhile, Durant stressed that the decision to move the woman was well thought out.

“When everybody wanted to move her, I said, ‘let’s monitor her and see’. If we had seen improvements we wouldn’t have done that,” he said.

“When there are instances of this happening, that we are aware of, we will make interventions with the relevant authorities. There is still a lot of elder abuse happening and we want to reduce this situation considerably in the land,” Durant assured.

9 Responses to Rescued

  1. Tristan John
    Tristan John July 6, 2016 at 12:26 am

    This is really sad! However, let’s thank God it did not end with a loss of life.

  2. Rickie Brown
    Rickie Brown July 6, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Thank goodness she was helped@ sin & a shame to disrespect or abuse our Mothers, pray she lives out her life in dignity &love!

  3. Richard Braithwaite July 6, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Well done to all personel involved , making the decision to intervene with the extraction from this awful situation that this poor lady Mrs Coddington has found herself in….
    It broke my heart to read this article , even though I’m in the UK
    fit and strong ……old age will catch up with everyone of us…
    I’ll be back on the island in august…my family are from venture st John….and my partner actually is a care nurse at the Geriatric hospital…so I will Skype call her to see if she can ” look out” for Mrs Coddington…….we each and everyone of us,
    family or not, make it our duty
    Too look after our elderly citizens….with compassion .
    We will all be in this position one day…
    Well done all authorities concerned..
    God bless the people of Barbados..

  4. Levi Mayers
    Levi Mayers July 6, 2016 at 1:21 am

    well how unfortunate rescued from one hell and now sent to another i wish her all the best

  5. Donna Haynes
    Donna Haynes July 6, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Them does got to wait until the old people nearly dead to help SMH action needs to be taken earlier..

    • Coralita July 6, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Look the old lady said she did not want to be taken from her home back in May. What you wanted them to do, move her against her will? Then you would hear another story. You people just air wunna mout because you don’t have a clue how to handle these delicate situations.

      This time around she was willing to move. Old people are so set in their ways that you have to be careful not to do anything to break their hearts.

  6. Tony Waterman July 6, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Finally Taking this Old Lady to the GeriatricHospital is the right Move, But what concerns me More, is the Fact that SOMEONE is Still PROBABLY Receiving her Pension Cheque, so!!! When will the NAB have the Proper Authorities Redirect that Cheque to the Geriatric Hospital, and does the NAB have the Authority to take Legal Care of her Property., until she Passes on.they should be able to RTent out that Property to SUBSIDISE her up keep.

  7. Phil July 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I sear to God that I would personally put down all those involved in the abuse and mistreatment of this lovely lady. Granny, I love you. Thanks and blessings to all who rescued you from the hands of these deceitful heartless scoundrels.

  8. miche July 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Not as mad as you Hal


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