Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Silent Epidemic - Elder Abuse

Silent Epidemic of Abuse Occurs Because Too Many Cases Go Unreported
There are currently 1.6 million elderly Americans who are cared for by nursing home assistants, and that number is expected to reach 5 million over the next 20 years.

Having someone else look after aging parents is a tough decision to make, and is made even tougher by fact that one of four nursing homes has been blamed for the death or serious injury to a resident each year, according to government figures.

"There are many forms of elder abuse. Physical abuse is certainly one. Verbal abuse is another," said Elinor Ginzler of the American Association of Retired People.Experts say there could be many more unreported cases.

"For every one case of elder abuse that is reported there are as many as four that go unreported," said Bob Blancato of the Elder Justice Coalition.
Many people are afraid to speak up...
Older people are afraid to speak up because they know that if they speak up they could end up in a nursing home or with a guardian taking over their lives , I would be petrified also to speak up considering what I've seen happen to the ones that do speak up... This situation where most elders prefer to remain silent rather than face a worst type of abuse is intolerable .

How is that we have arrived here, face abuse at home by an abusive relative or caregiver or face guardian abuse by losing your last vestige of independence where you don't even get to choose where you want to live or whom you want to take care of you and your money is not considered your money any longer and you lose the right to choose, you are in a world where your savings will go to the most cunning attorney or the one that knows the most people with the right connections a very murky world a world where advance directives are set aside.

A world where guardians are chosen immediately, meaning reasonable notice of the hearing must be served, but we know actual cases where this is not done, as un scrupulous attorneys like to pick the guardians without notice without giving the incapacitated person's family a opportunity to seek legal help or make their voices heard regard to you or your family because what you or they have to say just doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to guardianship matters.

As our population ages there are going to be a lot of you that will wish that we had fixed the system while we had a chance, because once you find yourself in Clara's shoes or Barbara Morris or the thousands of elders whose live we have written extensively here see " Stolen Lives" , then, it will be too late.

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