Despicable, Unfathomable... is it really going on?
Here's the thing.
So as I waltzed into work this morning, it was a surprise to me when I was duly presented with a purple ribbon to pin most purposefully onto my shirt front. I was then directed to a row of purple posters dotted about on the walls which, as well as ordering me to END ELDER ABUSE - also contained info I might need to "learn up, in case a client asks you about it".
Doubled? Surely not!
Typical health issues related to ageing such as Alzheimer's or Dementia, can mean older adults are easy prey to a so-called 'caregiver' with alterior motives. Thanks to cognitive decline and a decrease in capacity to understand or control one's own personal affairs, bank accounts, insurance papers etc, the need to rely on others becomes more demanding.
Neglect is another form of abuse that's also hidden within families and can be ultra tricky to detect because victims are loathe to report mistreatment due to shame or embarrassment. But these forms of abuse are all a violation of basic Human Rights and quite frankly, bloody disgraceful!
As carers visiting clients in their own homes, there are warning signs the purple poster tells us we should watch out for in our clients and their behaviours... as well as any related physical concerns (heaven forbid) we may observe.
Things such as:
My experience with 'abused' elderly peeps is fairly limited I have to say. I haven't knowingly encountered anything untoward on my daily travels where I have had cause for concern for my client's welfare.
Or have I just not noticed it?
It worries me now, even after all this time that I could be oblivious to the various forms of elder abuse. Perhaps there's been awful things happening to my clients right under my nose?
Or the time poor old Mr Thingamebob tells me he's a silly duffer after falling flat on his face from tripping on the kitchen lino... Had he been beaten by a nephew of dubious origins wanting money (and the car) in a hurry?
Although it appears now - we must.
Which reminds me of an incident once... visiting a client with slow-onset Dementia still living in the family home and whose dazzling glass china cabinets strangely became more and more depleted of their expensive contents over a period of several months.
Apparently there was an attempt at an inquiry when the neighbour caught on and made noises to the authorities. But it all fell flat due to the woman's absentmindedness and failing memory. Her three beloved sons 'borrowing' stuff from their mother somehow got classed as 'looking after mum's assets' instead.
Get mad like Mickey!
I can report that none of my clients noticed the pretty purple WEAAD ribbon I wore during my visits today. Or if they did, they chose not to say anything about it.
Similar to abuse of children really. And we all know how we feel about THAT!
Pesky purple posters - it's all their fault.
Go pick on someone your own age!!