Glamourous grannies take to the catwalk
Eye-catching designs and bright colours were used in Age Concern's fashion show to draw attention to the insidious problem of elder abuse.
The show was put on yesterday as a social occasion for Nelson's large population of elderly folk. It brought more than 100 spectators together at the Trafalgar Centre's Victory Rooms, where volunteers modelled clothes provided by Fashion Central.
Model Ngaire Forbes, 83, took to the catwalk with a streak of purple in her hair and her walker decorated with purple ribbons. She said she wanted to participate in the show because she fancied a challenge.
"It is a challenge, and it's a bigger challenge when you're older."
Deputy mayor Ali Boswijk said the fashion show was a good way for senior citizens to have fun while also promoting awareness of a serious issue.
"It's great that this day can be a social occasion because it breaks down the barriers ... we know that isolation is part of what can lead people to be abused."
Age Concern patron Chris Tuffnell said it had been estimated that up to 5 per cent of New Zealanders over 65 were victims of elder abuse. With only 16 per cent of those cases reported or responded to, she said this meant most of those who were abused did not receive the help they needed.
"It is not OK to abuse older people, and it is not OK to turn a blind eye or fail to stop the abuse."
She said her message for the show's audience was that if they were being abused or knew of any abuse going on, they should go to Age Concern for help.
"Take courage, speak up."