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One Case is Still Too Many – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

One Case is Still Too Many – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

“On this Day, I call upon Member States and civil society to strengthen their resolve and redouble their efforts to eliminate all forms of violence and abuse against older people.”   UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon   • Mary’s son-in-law bullied her into giving him money to help pay off a personal loan, telling her that it would be part of their inheritance anyway, and they are only collecting it early.   • Sonia recently moved into a care facility.  When she asks for help, some of the staff complain that she is too demanding, and are very rough with her and hurt her when helping her into and out of the bed and the bath.    • Harold’s daughter publically ridicules him about the times he forgets to zip up his pants or miss-matches his socks.  She tells everyone how looking after him is worse than looking after her children.   • Jimmy threatens to no longer come to visit his grandmother if she fails to give him cash from her wallet or bank account.   • Gerry moved in with his niece.  He spends most of his time alone in his small room, is not allowed a phone, and has all his mail screened by this niece.   The UN Economics and Social Council defines elder abuse as:   “A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”   As we can see from the limited examples at the beginning of this article, elder abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual, financial or...