If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?
Today’s daily prompt tied in nicely with what I wanted to write for this post today. Warning: I am going to get serious on this one.
I usually stay away from controversy on my blog. Not that I’m afraid of a little debate, I’m not. I want this blog to be about positive things. Good stories, good friends, good times.
Something happened this past weekend that made me sad and worried. It’s something that I’ve thought about on and off, but never seriously, till now. I have to admit I never thought seriously about it because it never hit home before. This past holiday weekend it did. In a major way.
This issue is becoming an epidemic in Canada, United States and elsewhere. Elder abuse.
Elder abuse is a growing issue and it looks like it is growing more and more each year. I know it is for a fact because I’ve seen it in action. I wish I could say this was a fiction piece I was working on. It’s not. It’s real and it’s damn scary.
From what I’ve read on the internet elder abuse can happen in various forms. I saw it personally in the form of threats of violence. A son threatened physical harm to his father. Here is the story. I will just use initials for names to protect the innocent and myself.
There was a group of us that got together over the holiday to have a few drinks, talk and have a good time. We were in the backyard just enjoying the day.
The homeowner’s son showed up on his motorcycle with his girlfriend. Now this son is 40 years old, works in the oil field and makes damn good money. He came over uninvited. He also came over looking for a fight. Why? Only he knows.
Now *R (the father) is 60 and crippled up with arthritis and emphysema. He is certainly no threat to anyone. He hadn’t seen his son *J in about a month because he was working way up north on an oil rig. R was happy to see J.
Everyone there could see J was angry about something the minute he showed up. He was on his phone trying to get hold of a buddy he was angry with. It just so happened this buddy of J owed R some money. The buddy bought something months ago from R and never paid him. R just innocently asked J to ask his buddy when he could expect payment for the item.
J went off on his father spoiling for a fight. R just looked at J in surprise and told him “I just asked a question.”
That’s when things got out of control for no good reason. J looked at his father in the meanest way and told him, “I don’t give a f*** what you asked. Maybe I should just go over there and smash your face in with my fist!”
The rest of us just stood or sat in shock! Believe me J meant it, you could see it in his face. J issued a few other threats and when a few of us stood up to get between R and J, he decided he better leave. Afterward we still were shocked that R’s son threatened him in the first place and we all believed he would have done it!
Now I know for a fact R has only been good to J. He has bought him stuff and I know he has borrowed money to J lots of times. J likes to party, a lot. He comes home on his days off and it’s one big party. By the time he has to go back to work he is on the phone to R, borrowing a couple hundred for gas to get back to work. It’s crazy! R is on a fixed income because he is no longer able to work. J makes a lot of money every month, but is continuously broke.
I know J has been totally disrespectful to R for months. R talks to me about it. Now threats of physical violence. It’s scary to think what might have happened if the crowd of friends had not been there.
The more I thought about what happened the more I wish I could have helped in some way. Elder abuse doesn’t get the attention it deserves in our news. We are focused on women and child abuse. Believe me I think those issues are very important! Don’t get me wrong. I hate it when I hear stories of women, children or animals being abused. Nothing gets me angrier faster.
The world’s population is getting older. Soon the elderly will be the majority. We need to address this issue soon, before it really gets out of control!
I looked up a few statistics.
Violent Crimes Against Seniors on the Rise (from: http://www.carp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Elder-Abuse-Brief-Jan-2012.pdf)
• Up 14%: Data from a sub-set of police services in
Canada show that the rate of family violence
against seniors has increased by 14% since 2004.
• 7,900 seniors were victims of violent crime alone
between 2009 and 2011 (not including financial,
emotional, psychological abuse and neglect).
• Perpetrators are Mostly Family, Friends: Of the
7,900 reported acts of violence, the perpetrators
were likely to be family, friends, or a stranger, a
trend the CARP Poll™ confirms to be true for most
cases of elder abuse.
I also found an interesting statistic page. It shows that most abusers of the elderly are repeat abusers and they are white. Take a look for yourself. I think you will be surprised. You can find it here:
This is research done by the National Center on Elder Abuse, Bureau of Justice Statistics in the United States, dated: Research Date: 6.18.2013
I’ll post some of the statistics found, if you want to read the full report go to the link above.
- Number of elderly abuse cases in 2010 5,961,568
- Percent of elderly population abused in 2010 9.5%
- Percent of white victims 66.4%
- Percent of black victims 18.7%
- Percent of Hispanic victims 10.4%
Aging Statistics (USA)
The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. The information in this section of the AoA website brings together a wide variety of statistical information about this growing population
You can read more here: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Aging_Statistics/index.aspx
The Canadian population is aging. In 2011, the median age in Canada was 39.9 years, meaning that half of the population was older than that and half was younger. In 1971, the median age was 26.2 years.
Seniors make up the fastest-growing age group. This trend is expected to continue for the next several decades due mainly to a below replacement fertility rate (i.e. average number of children per woman), an increase in life expectancy, and the aging of the baby boom generation. In 2011, an estimated 5.0 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years to reach 10.4 million seniors by 2036. By 2051, about one in four Canadians is expected to be 65 or over.
You can read more here: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=33
We as a people need to start addressing the issue of Elder Abuse now before it gets out of control. I’ve seen it and it’s ugly people. I want to do what I can to help in any way I can. After all I am a baby boomer and will be considered a part of this group soon enough.
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