Fraser Valley – National Seniors Day is Sunday October 1. One of the dark sides of this day is elder abuse. This opinion is from Lisa Smith to FVN.
Elderly abuse : I believe it’s time once again to visit this topic not just because the holiday seasons are upon us, because I feel people turn a blind eye to this subject to many times.
Some people have the opinion that elderly abuse occurs only with family members by manipulation and or greed also retirement homes are up there with number one also because I love the ones are not getting the care or being taken care of as they should be, even though both of these are so true in many cases, I am sad to say I have watched and observed forms of elderly abuse in other places such as gated communities, grocery stores, parking lots etc.
This abuse comes from all sorts of people of all sorts of ages.
I witnessed someone in a parking lot getting very agitated and angry because elderly person was not moving through the parking lot fasten off for them, so they started screaming and telling this person to her get up do we really need to remind people that elderly people do not move as fast as they used to?
Or when you’re in a grocery store and you have an elderly person in front of you, there is no need to be rude either walk around them or turn around and go the other way, you are making matters worse by getting angry and frustrated, there are simple solutions to these problems.
This next part has went on for many many years, that people have borrowed from their neighbours in a polite manner and usually paying back what they have borrowed. However I have a witness people that aren’t elderly but close to the age in the next 10 to 15 years take full advantage of their neighbors, it always starts off as a nice hello and visit and as time goes by these neighbours weasel their way in and take full advantage of these elderly Neighbors, this could look like borrowing food all the time to money here and there cigarettes alcohol, and never paying back what was so freely given to you, you just keep coming back for more and more.
These people are well aware of what they are doing, like I said starts off as a nice visit and a hello and then they start their cycle of manipulation and take full advantage of these kindhearted people, my heart goes out to the elderly as they may be aware however do not have the strength to say anything to these people, as a lot of the time the elderly are lonely so they will put up with behaviour because nobody likes to feel alone.
So I ask you next time you are around the elderly people that raised us and look after us and treated us with respect, do you treat them with as much respect as they treated us?
Remind yourself one day you will be at that age and how would you feel if somebody treated you the way you are treating them?
For the record – Chilliwack Seniors Peers Counseling is an excellent resource for information on senior abuse and other issues.