Vol. 11, #13.3 – January 21st, 2019 – ALLAN GOLD’S BLOG
Ninth (extra) blog post of series on Elder Law for seniors and their families, particularly spouses, adult children, caregivers, etc.
TODAY’S TOPIC: “Elder Abuse-Short & NOT So Sweet Notes!*”
My goal has been to inform you about elder abuse and stress the urgency in your acting with respect thereto. I believe that with this blog series, I may have got you thinking about it. But now, trying to tie things together, I’m breaking the topic of elder abuse down into little bites, that are easy to digest. You see, I’m intent on providing a quick read, providing you a few important things to remember and serve as your take-a-way.
B. ‘BULLET POINT’ TYPE NOTES
Hereinafter are several ‘bullet point’ type notes, which, while being somewhat short, are in no way sweet.
NEWS FLASH – The world is “greying” and this trend is increasing. Here are some data tidbits. “The total aged population (aged more than 60 years) world-wide will rise from 605 million in the year 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2025. Population ageing is due to two factors: increased life expectancy and decreasing fertility rates.” (Source: https://www.google.com/search?q=world+is+greying+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1 ) This said, I assert: “No one should allow abusers to victimize our grey-haired citizens, turning their lives into utter blackness.”
DEVELOPING STORY – Let’s put elder abuse in perspective. Some people think that this is the new ‘elephant in the room’. Others like me say: “Not exactly…while it’s an elephant, indeed a monster, it has been around for years. And as to what’s new, I assert that it’s just that “elder abuse” has come out of the shadows as the public is today hearing this phrase more often. In addition, some people think that it’s now getting worse, becoming a problem of biblical proportions. Others like me say: “Forget the hyperbole, but know that it’s accurate to say that the problem is very bad and it’s growing! Here’s why. First, elder abuse strikes the aged and there are more older people on G-d’s green earth. Second, there’s a link between an aging population and vulnerability. Third, the present day retirees-pensioners have more money and that attracts the bad guys. This said, I assert: “Let’s get the word out even more. The risk of elder abuse is today greater than ever. And of course, this must NOT become the new normal.” So I’m calling upon everyone to be on high alert, and confront this problem, wherever it’s found and immediately do everything possible to bring it to an end.
PRESS RE LEASE – Intuitively, we all know that people in their golden years deserve the respect that comes with age. But if you ask: “Anything else?”, I would urge that we must ensure that the elderly can live with dignity, free to pursue happiness. Of course, to get there, they require safety and security. It’s because life is precious. And as to treatment, while the word, “golden” suggests something luxurious like that of the ‘white glove’ variety, I would settle for care that’s attentive and proper, meeting the required standard and striving for even better. And that’s how it should be!
SOS ALERT – Elder Abuse – It’s likely that right now, an older person, living in your neighbourhood and known by you, is in grave trouble, needing your help, reaching out, either through a hand movement or a verbal plea. However, these signals often go unseen or unheard. One possible reason is that many of us fail to see or hear what’s out there because we’re not aware of our surroundings and/or in tune with the inhabitants therein. Of course, it’s unsafe to be inobservant; but it’s extremely hazardous if oblivious to elder abuse. Another explanation is that many are trying to avoid the senior, this due to the fear of being asked for something. In the alternative, some people just pretend that the bad treatment is not elder abuse, thinking that if they use that phrase, they then would be obliged to act. Of course, regardless of the cause, when you turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to elder abuse, this allows it to happen over and over again; and to go on and on. If you see yourself in this capsule, I urge: “Stop & smell the coffee. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, particularly when it comes to the elderly in your circle. Or if not wanting to get involved, lose the thought, you’re already involved. Indeed, when it comes to elder abuse, everyone has a job to do, anytime and anyplace. So on getting a message from a possible victim, jump up straight away and go and investigate!
CODE BLACK & BLUE – When it comes to elder abuse, seniors typically suffer horrific perhaps even life-threatening conditions. Besides being hurt, some grievously; they often sustain misappropriations of substantial sums of money, which they can ill afford. And the damages can be catastrophic, since these losses could precipitate foreclosure, lead to bankruptcy or even cause them to go hungry or without essential medications. Indeed, there may be no worse place, than this man-made hell. So on being alerted to elder abuse, consider it like a five-alarm event, get on scene as quick as possible and be a life saver!
CAUTION –- We generally believe in the natural good nature of Mankind. And as a society, we think of ourselves, as being civilized. We further hold ourselves out as being just, respecting the rights and freedoms of everyone. Sorry to bust your bubble, but we don’t make the grade when it comes to elder abuse. You see, our record in this regard, is just plain lousy. It’s due to many seniors being violated in the usual course by abusers and our allowing it to happen. This means that regardless of our rosy self-mage, we’re not as good as we think. And such brings up a great question: “What are we really made of?” My answer is: “If you’re one of those people who does the necessary in combating elder abuse, you’re living correctly, in keeping with the precepts of law and order. And you thusly have the characteristics of duty & honour, on one hand, and honesty and integrity on the other. But if not, you need to get there fast!”
WARNING – Many of us who are middle-aged might recognize the high risk of elder abuse to the elderly; but we tend to be unaware that it also poses a big danger to us personally. Perplexed? It’s not very complicated. You see, when we exhibit indifference and fail to act in the face of elder abuse, this begs the question: “Are we serving as good role models for our kids?” The obvious answer is “No”, as we are implicitly saying to them that doing little or nothing about elder abuse is alright. And should we be victimized in later life, it’s likely that our kids will remember what they have been shown, and not lift a finger to help us in our hour of need. And that’s how our lack of concern and action over elder abuse today will hit close to home when we’re old and grey. Indeed, this boomerang effect bears out the saying, “What goes around… comes around”. I assert that we must break this vicious cycle, don’t you think? Here’s how. First, keep in mind the saying, “What you see is what you get”. Second, imagine yourself being elderly, on the receiving end of abusive behavior and being afraid. Third, ask your future self, “Do you still think doing little or nothing about elder abuse is acceptable?” I expect that your answer would be a big fat “NO”. And continuing on, ask: “Do you want someone to be a hero and come to your rescue?” I expect that your answer would then be a huge “YES” yelled over the roof tops. So do yourself a favour, be energetic in addressing elder abuse in the present day and thusly teach the children well!
All of this to say, on coming across abusive behavior against a senior, you must deal with it properly. And for reasons of human rights and compassion and even for selfish ones, you must do everything necessary to stop it. And in any eventuality, you must act without delay!
D. PREVIEW OF NEXT IN THE BLOG SERIES: Killers of the aged in a hospital
I believe that with this blog series on elder abuse, I may have got you thinking about the safety and security of the aged. Next, I plan to be even more of a disruptor raising the specter of killers in a hospital setting and giving you some horrific real- life examples. Interested? Want to be frightened out of your wits? See you next time.*
E. NOTICE – CAUTION –DISCLAIMER
The material provided herein is of a general nature, strictly for informational purposes. The interpretation and analysis is not to be misapplied to a personal situation with a particular set of facts. Under no circumstances, are the herein suggestions and tips, intended to bring a reader to the point of acting or not acting, but instead, the hope is that they are to be a cause for pause and reflection. It is specifically declared that this content is not to be a replacement of or substitution for legal or any other appropriate advice. To the contrary, for more information on these presents, related subjects or any other questions, it is the express recommendation of the author that everyone seek out and consult a qualified professional or competent adviser.
*©/TM 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Press Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED