Ten Reasons Elder Abuse is not OK

Elder abuse is never OK. June is recognised world-wide as Elder Abuse Awareness Month. And 15th June was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

An aged life worth living

An aged life worth living

I am passionate about defending human rights and preventing all forms of abuse. I am especially passionate about defending the rights of older people.The United Nations says,

The day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, and their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies.

Elder abuse is like other forms of intimate violence (child abuse, partner abuse).  The only difference is that it is violence against seniors. It is a crime against older people. It is perpetrated by people the senior loves and should be able to trust.

My top ten reasons for the prevention of elder abuse

These are photos of people I love. They and no other senior person should be subjected to the humiliation of elder abuse.

My husband, John Fleming, should never experience elder abuse

My husband, John Fleming, should never experience elder abuse

My lovely sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Peter Worts

My  sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Peter Worts

My brother, Peter Stone

My brother, Peter Stone

My sister-in-law, Lois Hunt

My sister-in-law, Lois Hunt

Sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and David Fleming

Sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and David Fleming

Friends Kevin and Rosemary Keenan

Friends Kevin and Rosemary Keenan

Dear friend Christina Marigold Houen

Friend Christina Marigold Houen

Friend Elizabeth Brennan

Friend Elizabeth Brennan

OK. So I can’t count!

If you suspect you, or anyone you know is being abused as a senior, do not remain silent. Talk to other people. If trusted members of your circle of family and friends do not know what to do, keep talking until someone can help. Or, if you prefer, ask for assistance from an elder abuse prevention and advocacy agency. In Perth, this would be Advocare Inc.

Agencies such as Advocare help prevent elder abuse

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4 thoughts on “Ten Reasons Elder Abuse is not OK

  1. I think there are many married people who don’t realise they are being verbally and psychologically abused by their partner. They are in a ‘rut’ and seem to believe this is how some marriages are and they are prepared to spend their last 10 or 20 years this way. Very sad as we all deserve happiness.

    • It is very, very sad, Elizabeth. And I’m sure spouse abuse happens secretly and is more frequent than I care to think about.

      Thank you for sharing my post about elder abuse. The more people who read about it and think about it, the more likely we are to stand up for others.

  2. What a beautiful post, Maureen and all those gorgeous people none of whom deserve abuse of any form, though pounds to peanuts somewhere along the line some of them have experienced it, though hopefully not as elders.
    When I was young I regularly visited a school friend in her home, where I met her grandmother, Barney. For the first time in my life I witnessed something of the abuse to which you refer.
    It was subtle. But Barney spent her days sitting alone in a parlour upstairs in what in those days was a boarding house, which my friend’s mother ran. My friend’s mother, Barney’s daughter, made it clear that her mother was a burden. She brought her meals and cups of tea throughout the day but she dd not bring them with love and good cheer.
    This daughter made it clear that Barney was a nuisance. It might not stand up in court as elder abuse but to my young self then it was.
    It was dreadful to see, this old woman cowering in her room alone and intimidated. She loved visits from me and her granddaughter but was forever telling us not to disturb her daughter. I don’t know what became of her but I still feel sad when I think of her loneliness even in that full and bustling household.

    • Thanks for your comment, Elisabeth. Glad the post touched you!

      When I was CEO of Advocare (before I retired) we started an elder abuse advocacy service. The official line is that the most prevalent form of elder abuse is financial. There is an awful lot of that and that’s what elder abuse figures are based on. But much worse, in my opinion, is that psychological abuse, exactly like you describe with your friend’s grandmother, is much more common. So horrible to think of old people locked up and lonely by relatives who don’t know or care about the needs and desires of old people. I also think there is a fair amount of physical abuse, too, because çarers become totally frustrated.

      Elder abuse is very under-reported. There is much secrecy as there is about all forms of family violence. Seniors who are abused do not have a voice in public. I would like that to change.

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