We hear about abuse in the media a lot. We hear about teacher scandals, priest abuse and so many more of people in a power position. One area of abuse we do not hear anything about is Senior Abuse.
There are many forms of senior abuse. It is similar to all of the abuses mentioned above and is very common. It is so hard to recognize senior abuse because like most abuses, it is coming from a loved one, a child, or a care taker.
Personally I’ve seen many abuses first hand in dealing with my senior clients, and it is very disturbing and hard to get in the middle of it.
From the onset of my experience, it started with a child getting frustrated with an elderly parent, because they did not want to co-operate in the way the child wanted. It then transferred from an argument to verbal abuse. From there it turned to physical abuse, and the threats of taking control of their money and future continued.
There have been many times when I have seen tempers getting out of control, due to mis-communication. Many people don’t realize that their parent is not who they used to be 30 years ago. Their communication levels are not the same and many things have changed as well.
We are very quick now, if we do not get a response in a second from our phones or social media yesterday it is too late. We think that people are ignoring us. Many seniors do not work like that. Big decisions take time, and they are slow to process everything that is being told to them. There might also be some sort of impairment due to old age, or other factors.
Another thing that may be happening due to some sort of dementia is spousal abuse. This can also start to happen late in a marriage. Sometimes if one spouse has dementia, their actions change and they become abusive. This is something that a child needs to pay attention to as well.
Here are some tips that can help when dealing with your parents in a high stress situation such as moving.
1. Realize your parents are not the same as when you grew up.
2. Patience is key, while they will not move at the same pace as you, be very patient with them.
3. Minor things are a big deal to them. Sometimes, a trip to the new home, or sitting down talking to a bank manager, or Real Estate agent is an event that they prepare for all week.
4. Communication is key. Make sure that you are talking to them calmly and that they understand what is transpiring. Sometimes, reminding them a few times of an appointment or event happening is necessary.
5. Verbal Abuse can lead to physical abuse and more. Just because your parent is not doing what you want, verbal abuse is not ok. Sometimes its better to step away, than to continue to try to force your own agenda. I have seen perfectly normal people start to drag their parent into an old age residence when they refused to step inside.
6. Look in the mirror. Examine how you are speaking and dealing with situations regarding your parents. It can be frustrating but maybe a different approach is needed. Maybe you can consult a professional like me, to help you in certain situations.
7. Watch out for an type of abuse, at an old age home, home care, from another parent or sibling or from an uncle or aunt.
If you need some help regarding this please contact me and I can help you find the proper help in any situation.
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