June 20, 2012 It had been a good day until John, my son, needed twenty dollars to go out with his friends. I told him I didn’t have it, because it was the end of the month and I wouldn’t get my social security check until the first. I hoped he would understand, but he just went crazy. He hit me in the stomach hard, over and over again until I wet myself. One would have thought that would make him quit, but it got worse because he grabbed my neck and forced me to the floor saying “If you’re going to piss on the floor like a dog, I guess I better rub your nose in it” and then he did. After that he kicked me so hard that I am positive my rib was broken. Finally the beating stopped and John left. As I picked my broken, bruised body up off the floor I wished he would have killed me. I needed medical treatment but they ask to many questions. It is my fault anyway, since I was the one who raised him. I created this monster, so now I have to deal with it. Anyway this is my home. I have lived for the last forty years and this is where I want to die. Without John, I would not be able to stay here because I am a feeble old lady. I know this because he tells me everyday. Abuse of elderly people in America happens everyday. However, just like this lady, most go unreported. In fact only about one out of five cases ever gets reported, according to the university of California, Irvine School of Medicine. The reason for the lack of reporting “they are afraid of retaliation, they think they will be put in an institution, they are ashamed that a family member mistreats them, they think that the police and social agencies cannot really help them, or they think that no one will believe them.” (Adult Protective Services).
Even though elderly abuse has been happening “for literally thousands of years.”
(Easton) it was not really viewed as a problem in society. In fact “the legal history of
elder abuse formally began in 1978 in the US House of Representatives Aging
subcommittee. Between 1980 and 1986, 26 states passed laws on mandatory reporting of
elder abuse. By 1997, 42 states had enacted elder abuse legislation.” (Williams). Which means that for all that time in between the beginning of time and 1978 nothing was done to prevent abuse to our older population, nor was anything done as punishment to an abuser. Today it is believed that elderly abuse is on the up rise. However, I believe that is because we have more older people, due to people living longer, and it is reported more now than ever before. Elderly abuse encompasses physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse,
exploitation, Neglect, and abandonment. According to the National Center on Elder abuse “Elder abuse can affect people of all ethnic backgrounds and social status and can affect both men and women.” Also the abuse of our older population happens both in long term care facilities by staff, as well as out in the community by the victim’s own families, neighbors, and other offenders that our elderly should be able to trust. Aged people can neglect their own care as well. “Self-neglect can include behaviors such as: Hoarding, Failure to take essential medications or refusal to seek medical treatment for serious illness, Leaving a burning stove unattended, Poor hygiene, Not wearing suitable clothing for the weather, Confusion, Inability to attend to housekeeping, Dehydration.” (NCEA). Warning signs of abuse include “Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse. Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse. Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation. Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene,