Typical Elder Abuse Stories
Peter’s Story (physical and emotional abuse)
Peter wanted to remain living in his home, but he really needed someone to help him with his day-to-day care. His niece Mandy had always loved her Uncle Peter and since she was between apartments, it was decided that she would move into his home and assist him with his daily tasks.
Mandy tries her best, and she can be very kind at times. But at other times, she loses patience with how slowly Peter moves. She’ll sometimes shove him out of the way if she’s in a hurry, resulting in more than one tumble and bruise. She tries to be patient, but often her frustration leads to insults, name calling and door slamming.
Neighbours had heard the shouting and Peter’s sharp cries of pain from time to time. One of these neighbours was finally compelled to call the police when she heard Peter’s continual cries through the bathroom window. Police found him on the floor of the bathroom with a shattered hip and bleeding head. He had been laying there in pain for some time after Mandy, frustrated with having to help him with his personal hygiene, pushed him off the toilet and left the house in a rage.
Janet’s Story (financial abuse)
Janet appreciated her grandson helping her to run errands. Since her husband’s death, simple things like getting groceries or getting to the bank had become difficult for her. Her grandson, Nicholas, had offered to help and for awhile it seemed like the perfect arrangement. He would take her to the bank and wait while she deposited her cheque and withdrew the cash she needed. Nicholas then drove her wherever she needed to do her shopping.
As winter approached Nicholas told Janet it would probably be much easier on her if he just did the errands for her while she stayed warm and cozy at home. Because he had been so helpful for so many months, Janet thought nothing of signing her pension cheque over to her grandson, who would make her purchases and deposit the rest in her account.
It took several months to realize that Nicholas had not, in fact, been depositing the balance in her account. He did her shopping as needed, but pocketed the difference, causing Janet’s account to dwindle. It wasn’t until a cheque she had written to cover her insurance had bounced that Janet realized her grandson had been helping himself to her pension.
Margaret’s Story (emotional and psychological abuse)
Leaving her home to move in with her daughter and her family was supposed to be the best thing for Margaret. Her son-in-law Tom had always made her a little uneasy, but she adored her daughter and grandchildren. Sadly, Margaret’s move has only confirmed that her instincts about her son-in-law had been right.
Tom is always good to her when her daughter is around. But as soon as others are out of ear-shot, Tom’s verbal abuse and intimidation begins. He calls her stupid. He mocks the way she moves or talks. He tells her that she disgusts him and that she had better watch her step or he'll send her to a home. He threatens that if Margaret breathes a word of what he says, to her daughter, he will deny it, take all her money and leave her to the wolves.
Margaret’s daughter is puzzled as to why her mother has become so withdrawn. She refuses to leave her room except for meals. And even then she hardly eats and rarely speaks. Her daughter wonders why her mother would shut down like this in such a loving environment but assumes that she’s just adjusting and will come around. Her husband agrees completely.
The characters and events depicted in these scenario are realistic but fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental; however, they are very similar to real-life situations experienced by elders today.