Monday, August 13, 2007

The Story of Elder Abuse that Needs to be Told !

In this era of preposterous house prices, a lot of older people are sitting in goldmines. Never mind that these goldmines are their homes, have been their homes often for decades.

And their greedy, evil, ungrateful offspring all too often are ushering their parents out of their homes and into institutions solely in order to get their greedy mitts on the goldmines left behind.

Old people are often vulnerable. Their children are often their only lifeline. Like abused children, they feel conflicted loyalties to the very people abusing them. Abuse of elders is sometimes physical, but more often it's emotional neglect coupled with financial exploitation.

That's why elder abuse so rarely is reported. But in order to get away with these daylight robberies, the scum who abuse their elderly relatives require the assistance of professionals like attorneys, bankers and solicitors, who all too often know exactly what is going on, but are happy to be complicit in order to pocket their own fees.

This morning, Brenda Power highlighted a number of cases of elder abuse, where older people have been effectively incarcerated in institutions while their homes have been sold against their will, or are occupied by their children against their will. In one sad case, an elderly woman was described as being stuck in a nursing home while her own children rented out her house for profit.

Due to their age and frailty, even those elderly people who fight to gain access to their homes or funds stolen or exploited out of their accounts will often die before correcting the injustices done to them by their own flesh and blood in their twilight years.

Anyone listening to Brenda's show today can only have been angered by the descriptions of what some amoral people are prepared to do for money in this country. Congratulations to Ms Power for highlighting another scandal that has the capacity to be as nationally shaming as the institutional child abuse issue was.

It's high time that legislation was introduced to enforce solicitors, banks and financial advisors to report suspected cases of elder abuse just as medics and nurses are already required to do.

And they should also be held partially responsible for cases when elder abuse is discovered and proven, and they have been complicit in it.

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