Elder abuse can take on many forms, from physical and emotional mistreatment to financial exploitation. Sadly, this despicable crime is more common than we think. I’d like to thank Norma and Toby from Girlfriends With Aging Parents for allowing me to share a very personal story on this topic.
I hope it underscores the fact that we, as care partners, must be diligent about knowing what signs to look for. It’s one of those things that we tend to think only happens to other people, but the fact is, it can happen to anyone…
I felt my 98 year old mother-in-law was “abused” when she lived without aides, fell often, and cooked for herself even though she’s 95% blind. Lots of burning and huge messes. Finally after a damaging fall with ambulance trips (she recovered physically and is quite intact mentally), her doctor and I insisted on aides twice a day. Since I have power of attorney, it’s up to me to be the enforcer. She’s clean, she stopped losing weight, she has people watching over her, she gets her medicine, she’s so much better off, and she’s furious with me even though the aides are loving women she seems to enjoy.. It’s a struggle to not respond to her anger, because when I get angry back, then I feel abusive. These relationships are full of pitfalls, especially in this case where she is not my mother, but I inherited the position of caretaker after her son’s death. In time, she’s calming down a little and so am I.
Samantha Wright said:
A lot of older adults today are experiencing abuse inside long term care facilities or even inside their homes. This is really disturbing and alarming because this is becoming rampant worldwide. I guess the best way to combat this is by being vigilant and by being familiar to warning signs of elder care abuse. Thank you for sharing a personal story regarding abuse of older adults and I hope this will serve as an eye-opener to families who notice this but are afraid to report their case to authorities. In addition to your video, I’ve read this article regarding signs of abuse. I hope this helps too! http://www.ltcoptions.com/elder-care-laws/elder-care-abuse/signs-of-abuse/.