Public Humiliation for Women Denied Entry to a Bingo Game

A recent incident at a bingo game held at a Baton Rouge senior center has caused state officials to suggest the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging should make sensitivity training mandatory for its staff.

On May 2, 2013, four women made a complaint because they were refused access to a bingo game at Dumas House Senior Center.

Apparently they were denied access because they had not attended programs at least three times that week but they had gone to the Thursday bingo games every week for nearly a year.

The daughter-in-law of one of the women submitted the complaint stating the women were subject to public humiliation.

Karen Ryder, deputy assistant secretary at the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs, said the incident was simply a "miscommunication."

"It was just a misunderstanding, and their feelings were hurt," Ryder said.

COA Director Tasha Clark-Amar said that training has already been made available to employees but Dumas House presents unique problems.

"The thing is at Dumas House, there's a residence there," she said.

Clark-Amar claims that this is the only senior center managed by the COA that has seniors living there.

"This socio-economic divide at times causes hurt feelings among the seniors and conflicts arise," Clark-Amar said.

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