Monday, March 9, 2009

Elder abuse expected to increase

An article published today in the Mississauga News is warning our society that Elder abuse is expected to increase.

Canadians should not even consider legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide. We are experiencing an incredible growth in elder abuse rates, and we are not adequately providing excellent end-of-life care for people who needs it. We need to Care for people and not Kill them.

The article states:
One in 10 seniors living in Peel is the victim of abuse, a shocking statistic that makes the Peel Elder Abuse Support Program, offered by Family Services of Peel and Distress Centre Peel, even more essential.

Tom Triantafilliou, director of resource development with Family Services of Peel, said statistics compiled by the agency led to the formation of the program to help seniors who have somehow become "devalued, and end up the victims of abuse."

Leeanne Chowen, volunteer service coordinator with Distress Centre Peel, said abused seniors can call 905-278-3141 to speak to a volunteer. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

Chowen's volunteers hear all kinds of horror stories from seniors, from physical abuse, to theft of their money by the holder of their power of attorney – often a relative – to theft of sentimental items. The seniors, in most cases, are living in their own homes, with friends, family or spouse, providing care.

"Most of the cases are power of attorney violations – an adult child exploiting his or her parents," he said.

"Abuse is a very difficult thing for a 70-year-old to grasp. It's a psychological blow. They feel shame and embarrassment. Often, that's why they keep quiet about the abuse."

Leet said the last year has revealed a shocking litany of abuse. Some seniors have lost their entire life savings, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others have been locked in bedrooms, while their caregiver leaves the house to go to work or run errands. One senior suffered a skull fracture from abuse she endured, he noted.

It is important to notice that the article states:
"Most of the cases are power of attorney violations – an adult child exploiting his or her parents,"

Often decisions about assisted suicide are made by the family member who has the power of attorney.

Link to the original article:
http://mississauga.com/article/24818

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