In case you haven’t noticed: it’s July (that’s right…just 5 months until Christmas)! Independence Day gives us time to reflect on what a wonderful country we live in as we bask in the glow of fireworks and gasp in the flow of potato salad. It also provides us with an opportunity to think about how we can do better, as individuals and as a nation.
In the midst of celebration with friends and family let’s remember the vulnerable folks who have been and are being victimized. The fact is that there are direct and indirect victims: it is clear that each case of abuse and neglect affects many more than one person. The loved ones of elder victims are traumatized as well, often wondering what they could have done differently and how they can help their loved one cope with their situation. It is also clear that abuse and neglect is often a process rather than (or in addition to) a discrete event. We have learned through Elder Death Review Teams that elders who have been neglected to death often suffered for months or years.
This is also a chance for us to ask some hard questions of ourselves: