Just one week ago the Saratogian covered the story about a son who bludgeoned his mother... and I remarked we're fortunate these types of crimes are rare in our area. Maybe not as rare as we'd hope... today's Saratogian reports that a son in Rensselaer County pled yesterday guilty to bludgeoning his mother and father.
Any death due to abuse is one death too many. But let's not be complacent about elder abuse until there's a horrific incident like the two that have been adjudicated in the past week. Many more elders live in fear, are neglected, are financially exploited... but we're unaware because their stories do not become headline news.
Earlier this year Leadership Saratoga explored the issue of elder abuse in Saratoga County and launched an initiative to increase public awareness. Click below to hear what Jackie Hakes learned as she participate in the project.
What can you do?
Educate yourself about elder abuse.
Be aware of vulnerable elders in your community. Check in on elder family members and be alert for signs of neglect, financial control, or isolation. Often we assume that as long as there's a family member looking out for them, all is well. It may not occur to us that the family member may be abusing them... but 90% of elders are abused by family members.
Let's also remember that most family members who care for an elder are concerned, kind and supportive; they are doing an act of love. So you can also show your support by offering caregivers respite. Even an hour or two is a welcome break.
In their words. Stories from elders about how they were abused.