Elder Abuse – Would You Recognize It If You Saw It?
Helen is 83 years young and is proud to still be living on her own; so far she manages pretty well with most things except driving. She gave that up for fear of having an accident that would hurt someone else. Helen’s granddaughter Jesse lives a few blocks away and offered to take her places when she needed to go, it seemed like a good deal and worked well for a few months. Things changed when the granddaughter’s car broke down and she asked Helen if she could just borrow her car for a while; of course she would still help grandma whenever she needed a ride.
Flash forward five weeks, granddaughter still has the car and has stopped calling Helen. Helen does not want to cause any problems in the family or make her granddaughter feel bad so she keeps quiet, but she is very upset about the situation. She has a Dr. Appointment so she calls Jesse to ask for a ride; Jesse is busy that day and suggests that grandma call her neighbor for a ride. Over the next few months the situation worsens when Jesse insists that Helen give her the car, since it is no good to Helen anyway. Helen’s health has deteriorated, she no longer gets out for groceries, medical appoints or her weekly trips to the beauty shop. Her friends are worried but she has not shared her problem for fear of “looking like a foolish old woman, who never should have let this happen.” Scenarios like this are occurring everyday right under our noses.
Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, exploited and neglected. Many victims are older, frail and vulnerable and depend on others to assist them. Abusers of older adults are both men and women, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others.”
Region 10 Community Living Services and our community partners are dedicated to curtailing Elder Abuse & Exploitation. The group will offer community education, and resources on this topic. If you would like to get involved, post resource links on your website or host a presentation please contact Madison Fowler at Region 10, 970-765-3125 or by email at Madison@region10.net
Editor’s Note:This article was submitted by Eva Veitch, Community Living Services Director for Region 10, ADRC; she may be reached at 970-765-3127 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org