Have any of you known about a person who was suffering elder abuse? Most of us are fortunate enough that it hasn't happened to us because we have caring families. Unfortunately, not all elders are so lucky. A neighbor had a good friend whose youngest son was living with her. He stole from her, ridiculed her, sponged off her and was abusive in other ways. She complained to my neighbor who told me about it. I encouraged her to get her friend to evict him and get a restraining order against him.
Just as in the case of child molestation, the victim felt ashamed of her situation as if it were her fault and for years refused to make the abuse public. It was destroying her peace of mind and undermining her health. Eventually it got so bad she decided to do something about it and got a restraining order against him. At first, that didn't stop him from coming to her house and threatening physical abuse. She finally told her other son what had been happening and he had her move in with him. Up until that time she had been an independent lady living in her own home and she was forced to give up that freedom to avoid being abused.
This should not have gone on so long. How many other elders suffer abuse silently out of a mistaken feeling of shame. I think they feel that it reflects on their parenting, somehow.
Now there is an agency determined to do something about elder abuse. Please check on the link below for further information on legislation in Congress. It is the Elder Justice Act (S.795/ H. R. 2006). The act is a combination of law enforcement and health approach to study, detect, treat and prosecute and prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Why Elder Justice Now?
You can support this important bill by writing or calling your representatives now.