I have ties to group homes who house people from the ages of 65 to 105. How can an elderly person be abused

? I mean, I’ve heard of domestic violence and forms of abuse and child abuse, but what constitutes elder abuse? Are laws clearly defined in this regard. How come it is not given enough precedence in the public like child abuse? What rights do the elderly have? I’m a fan of your organization and appreciate any insights you can share to bring attention to this issue.

-Linda S.

Dear Linda,

You are not alone. I’ve come to the realization that there are common threads in how the abuse is accomplished.

1. The abuser earns the trust of the elder.
2. The abuser makes the elder dependent on him/her.
3. The elder becomes scared to make the abuser mad
4. The abuser starts criticizing the elders loved ones and feeds their fears with lies. They usually focus on one child to denigrate in order to divide siblings.
5. The elder starts to retreat from his loved ones and along with the abuser becomes secretive.
6. The abuser stays by the elder when others are around. They monitor the elders phone calls.
7. The abuser cuts the elder off of all contact with the elders family, friends and loved ones. Isolating them and confining them to their room or house.
8. The abuser gets the elder to sign over his/her financial and medical durable POA’s
9. The abuser gets a doctor to report that the elder has dementia if he does or doesn’t.
10. The abuser files for conservatorship or guardianship and 9 times out of ten gets it.
11. The abuser immediately starts raping the elders savings and assets if they hadn’t already
12. The family and loved ones find out usually after the fact, that their parent or loved one has been abused and taken from them.
13. The family and loved ones seek legal help and are told by lawyer after lawyer they won’t take the case because they won’t win and it’s extremely expensive
14. The abuser puts the elder in a nursing home or care facility against the elders wishes. They either won’t tell others where the elder is or they order the nursing home to remove the elders phone and not to allow visitors. The nursing home does as their told because the abuser holds the POA or guardianship. They won’t release medical info to family or loved ones because of the HIPPA law.
15. Family members or loved ones are traumatized by their loss and helplessness, often feeling guilty for failing the abused. The police won’t help seeing elder abuse as a civil matter. APS won’t investigate if the elder is being cared for. Prosecutors refuse to prosecute because undo influence is almost impossible to prove. If they get visitation it’s usually monitored or an hour or more once a week.
16. The nursing home starts drugging the elder with a harmful drug for their dementia like Haldol or they over medicate them so the staff can handle them easier.
17. The elders health declines, the drugs and isolation having shortened their lifespan.
18. a)  The family and loved ones are called to the death bed to hold vigil able to see the abused for the first time in months or years just before they pass.  b) The family and loved ones are never contacted about the abused’s death.  c) The family and loved ones are able to see the dying whose unconscious but must leave before the abused’s plug is pulled or he dies.

19. The body of the abused is immediately cremated at the abusers order. The abuser keeps the ashes refusing the family members requests for burial.
20. Family members or loved ones are left traumatized, unable to think clearly, with symptoms of PTSD months or years later.

Thanks for your questions which can benefit many readers.

With Love,