Comment 108707

By ItJustIs (registered) | Posted February 03, 2015 at 11:46:25

Interesting article. Not sure why the focus veered so dramatically after the fifth paragraph; a shame, because both topics...'elder abuse' and 'female-based domestic elder violence'...are valid independently and deserve attention in their own rights.

My father passed away last year. For me, it had been a nine-year ramp-up, but the final few months took a dramatic turn as his 'diminished abilities' gained momentum.

I was lucky. I was able to be there for him both when he was living independently and in care. That I have a huge heart and an equal store of patience was a blessing. And yet I could see as the pressure mounted and my reserves were constantly being depleted how 'elder abuse' is as prevalent as it is. Both by family members as well as caretakers.

It's a strange, bewildering thing to have roles reversed. To see your parents reduced from fully-functioning adults to vulnerable aged entities. It's confusing. It's confounding. And, on occasion (depending on the particulars of the situation), the stuff of frustration and anger. 'Being there' for our parents can test us. Resentment can rise to the surface. And yes, anger can burst forth.

I never had these things happen. But there were more than a handful of interludes where I could appreciate how easily things could turn for someone else in my position. How 'tempestuous' could end up being the descriptor. And when things got to the point of recognizing how much was being demanded of me by things, merely in the understanding attached, I would flinch from the sobering reality check.

As I say, I was blessed with the resources to be able provide my dad with the best version of myself. Others aren't so fortunate. Which is why elder abuse is so prevalent in a pressure-cooker of a world.

As the elderly population ages, as the numbers of vulnerable Canadians grows, we need to be having more discussions. Lord knows silence isn't going to get us anywhere.

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