Ellen's book will strengthen and guide you in your role as caregiver to an elder parent or relative, and help you understand your own physical, emotional, mental & spiritual needs.
Elder Abuse, What We All Need to Know
Caring for the needs of our elderly relatives or other elders we are responsible for is something most of us do with compassion and patience. We do this month after month and year after year, and it’s hard for us to imagine anyone caregiving in any other way. Unfortunately, there is a small minority of caregivers out there, both paid and family, who do not hold this philosophy.
Because of them, elder abuse has become a significant issue. Recently an elder care expert on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) radio morning show said that elder abuse is at a similar place as domestic violence was a number of years ago. People are just beginning to realized that there’s a problem out there — one that won’t go away.
As we reach old age, we are not as able to defend ourselves against attack, because we are often frailer in our body and our mind. Uncaring or unscrupulous people use this perceived weakness to take advantage of elders, instead of protecting and caring for them, and honoring the incredible life history each one of them carries within them.
Abuse can take many forms including physical, emotional, sexual, neglect/abandonment, financial or healthcare fraud. We are all our sisters and brothers keepers. If we know an elderly person who we think is in trouble, it’s up to us as good neighbors and community members to speak to someone, perhaps a family member, doctor, or public health nurse. The two main indicators of possible abuse are:
- Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person
- Changes in personality or behavior in the elder
Help Guide has published an excellent article by Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Tina de Benedictis and Jeanne Segal, outlining what elder abuse is and detailing everything to look for; it’s called On Elder Abuse and Neglect
Here’s another one on financial abuse, a guest blog by Dale Carter on AgeWiseLiving, called How Can I Protect My Aging Parent Against Financial Abuse
Ryan Malone has written an informative article on How to Background Check Your Home Care Provider in his blog Inside Elder Care.
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