Abuse usually occurs when arguments take place, stress builds to the boiling point, then someone loses their temper and it happens. Many things can contribute to an abusive situation. Stress is created by bringing a parent into a home for care, with all the demands associated with caregiving. There can be financial problems that stretch the budget beyond its limits. Perhaps one caregiver is making too many sacrifices to fill the needs of the person who is ill or elderly. Sometimes a lack of physical and mental support for both parties leads to problems. The isolation of a caregiving situation can make the caregiver feel lost or trapped. Even the family problems that existed before the patient moved in are now blown all out of proportion under pressure of the confined circumstances.
It doesn’t take too much to set a person off and anyone can become an abuser.
In the United States, forty-eight states have laws against elder abuse. In Oregon, there are laws specifically focused on abuse of persons sixty-five or older, including sanctions against injury of, neglect of, or failure to care for residents of any age in nursing homes, and protective service to anyone over eighteen who is aged, blind or disabled.
The law requires that physicians, nurses, hospital staff, county health workers, human resource employees, therapists, counselors, and police officers must report possible abuse cases. Private citizens, clergy and relatives of nursing home residents should also report abuse cases. We must all be on the outlook for problems.
The people who just want someone to help them get through their last years on Earth shouldn’t be miserable. These people have already lost their homes, belongings, freedom, and now someone is yelling and screaming at them, and sometimes hitting them, just because they are old and cannot fight back.
Parents are supposed to be loved and cherished as they grow older and can no longer care for themselves. It is up to us as caregivers to do the best we can to make their last years as comfortable as possible---even when they have a bad attitude. It isn’e easy sometimes, but they are our parents and they need us, just as we needed them when we were small and helpless. Now they’re helpless and looking to us for care in their “Golden Years.” Cherish and take good care of your loved ones---they will be gone too soon. Make sure the last memories you hold of them are happy ones.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way
Edgar A Guest