Thursday, July 5, 2007

Reporting Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility

Picture yourself walking through a busy Fourth of July celebration in the town square when you observe a little child who appears to be confused, disoriented and scared. Wouldn’t you feel some sort of obligation to stop what you were doing, regardless of how important it was, to at least see if the child needed some sort of assistance?

Sure you would.

Now picture yourself as a public school teacher who welcomes his or her students to class one morning only to discover that one child appeared to have sunken eyes (perhaps from lack of sleep), has unexplained bruises on extremities, is unkempt and presents an obvious hesitation to talk openly. Wouldn’t you have a moral (as well as legal) obligation to report the situation to appropriate authorities?

I believe most of you would feel that sense of duty.

More and more often across our great country, within communities large and small, is the quietly discussed abuse of the elderly. We seem to be an independent bunch who tends to present that “Thanks, but no thanks” look when assistance is offered. After all, we’ve been brought up to believe that we certainly should be able to take care of ourselves.

Because we are a country of basically good people, we need to take care of each other.

Abuse of the elderly is real. It is a problem that is not discussed openly very often and seems to be viewed by some as “someone else’s problem.” All too frequently, the “someone else” must be that person in the mirror each morning who says “I can help.”If you can’t provide the help by yourself, you can report elderly abuse or neglect to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services by calling 1-800-252-5400. Don’t let someone you care about continue to suffer.

Abridged read entire article from The Gazette-Enterprise here >>

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