Is Grandma Being Abused?

Those of us with elderly loved ones should be aware of the people around them.  Think about the kindly older lady who drops by Aunt Arora’s house for a weekly visit, the frail man who smiles when he passes you and Dad talking in the apartment house recreation room, Mom’s cheery roommate in the nursing home.  Often, through no fault of their own, they may not be what they seem. Older people can be bullies, too.  Some become loud and argumentative when alone with another person.  Some resort to hurtful name-calling and bossiness, while others become physically abusive.  The AARP cites mistreatment by peers in 10%-20% of U.S. seniors in care homes—hundreds of thousands of our older loved ones.  We must report any suspected abuse to the facility’s administration.  Also, we must visit often, never on a predictable schedule, and listen not just to what Uncle Max is saying about his daily life but how he is saying it.  Through awareness and action, we can protect our elders and ensure their safety.

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