Lessons learned about elder abuse | TheUnion.com

Lessons learned about elder abuse

Thank you for your articles and your newly reinforced efforts to help educate the community regarding elder abuse. There are many professionals who can tell it better than me and tell more than me, but here are some things I would like our citizens to know.

I have been an in-home caregiver in Nevada County for 13 years. I am primarily self-educated. But I have learned from my clients, their families, Sierra Nevada Home Care staff members and health care professionals when I was hospitalized myself.

I have also learned by volunteering with RSVP. I have learned by reading materials that are available through the Council on Aging and its nonprofit organizations, such as Senior Center, Lutz Center, Telecare, Services for the Blind; I’m sure there are others. I have learned by listening to my clients and through observation of their environments and their friends and families. I have learned from the doctors and friends and my clients when there is suspected abuse.

If you know or suspect that an elder is being abused in any way – physically, emotionally, financially or by neglect – please call Adult Protective Services. If you have fears about repercussions, overcome them by putting yourself in the place of the person who is being abused. Turn your fear into love and help care for your elders.

You will be an elder someday.

Betty Van Slyke

Chicago Park

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