Elder Abuse
By Samra Amir

July 2006
This kind of abuse was unheard of until just a few years ago. This just goes to show where our world is headed. Those who should be respected for their wisdom and knowledge of that which we still need to experience, are being deprived of their rights. Elder abuse; the World Health Organization defines it as ď...single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.Ē

The types of abuse most commonly done to seniors are; psychological, physical, and neglect. In psychological abuse, the elder is subjected to foul language, insults that lower their self-esteem, and being ignored by the very people they cared for and nourished as they grew up. It is horrible to think that the people that you spend your entire life paving the road for, turn around and instead of giving you thanks, refuse to acknowledge your help.

The physical abuse that older people are subjected to include being slapped, punched, restrained to furniture, and their heartless children even sink as low as to restrain them by the use of depressant medication. This is one of the worst things imaginable to do to an elder person, since they are already in a weakened state, and to be put through so much pain (both emotional and physical) at their age is a hazard to their health. The kind of filth that does this to his own parents deserves nothing more than the same treatment. Although it is true that ĎAn eye for an eye makes the world blindí (Gandhi), in this case, the tormentors are already blind to the showers of love and aid they have received from the ones they torture.

It is a known fact that children should take care of their parents in old age, not neglect their basic needs for survival. This neglect includes not providing the medications they need, abandoning them and preventing them from interacting with society, lowering their self-esteem, and many other things. The children of the seniors donít allow the elders to take part in important events such as birthdays, graduations and such. This type of desertion does two types of harm; it severs the older personís relationship with the rest of the family, and the second is that itís as good as driving a rusty nail through the loving heart of an elder.

There is a beautiful childrenís book out there called ĎLove You Foreverí by Robert Munsch, about a child who grows in the loving arms of his mother, who loves him unconditionally, until she grows old and ill. Her son returns to her and hold her in his arms, just as she did when he was a child, and sang the same words that she would in his childhood;

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."


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