I know that World Elder Abuse Day is mid-June each year. I find it hard to get my mind around that world concept. To put greater meaning to this important topic, I need to make it small, more intimate in scope.
I approached the problem by making the term ‘ELDERABUSE’ an acronym.
E: Education-I need to gain knowledge about the topic of elder abuse. During the World Day promotion, I’ll read many of the articles or watch programs about it.
L: Legal-I need to gain a greater understanding of how our laws support the prevention of abuse to our older adults. I know that everyone has an obligation to report child abuse without legal reprisals if done in good faith. I couldn’t find similar legislation to protect our vulnerable seniors.
D: Dedication-I know of a few dedicated resources towards older adult abuse. Just in the one area of training, there are college certificates to help prepare people to work in the child protection field. The same thoroughness is not present for abuse amongst older people. During this pandemic, if the Canadian Armed Forces had helped out in child-based institutions instead of long term care facilities, and found deplorable conditions, then more companies and individuals would have been held more accountable
E: Early Intervention-I know the earlier we intervene, the better the outcome. Banks are aware of elders being swindled out of their life savings but legally can’t do anything. Why couldn’t the legislation change to support the front-line bank staff to intervene early and get another person to review the situation of mass cash withdrawals?
R: Respect-I know this can take many forms. But I need to show my respect in the exchanges I have with elders and in broader aspects of my life.
A: Attitude-I need to watch my attitude. Sometimes the pace of the conversation with older folks or when they acquire a new skill can seem glacial. I need to remember they were young once too and got us to ‘now’. I need to respect how they journey through life at a slower pace. I need to learn from them.
B: Be-I need to be aware, be present and be caring. In a busy life, I can forget what is essential. I need to ensure I put these ideas front and centre in my actions and thoughts.
U: You-I know a play on words or is it sounds. It doesn’t matter. You can give all these thoughts a bit of a think. Just set aside 5 minutes to reflect.
S: Safety-I think every senior has the right to feel safe. When I encounter older adults who are isolated, I need to ask them if they feel safe. Then take time to listen.
E: Everyone-I now come full circle and value everyone’s bit of a think comments.
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment.
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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.