Elder Abuse


#1

Three years ago my dad was murdered by an in home caregiver who had been hired to help mom and dad. Both of my parents were ill. Mom has dementia; dad was recovering from brain surgery. My website iannarino.us gives the story of what happened to our family and also gives a list of suggestions for anyone who has hired or is considering hiring caregivers. Please visit the site. The information my sisters and I have provided could save a loved one’s life.


#2

Provvidenza, I am most dreadfully sorry to hear of your family ordeal. I can’t imagine how distressed and shocked you and your sisters have been.
God bless you in your endeavours to make the system of carers more accountable and to alert others to the potential dangers of entrusting their loved elders to others.
God grant that many people will be alerted to, and avoid such dangers as your parents suffered
Thank you for turning your family tragedy into a vehicle for protecting others. God bless the generous hearts of your sisters and you. Trishie


#3

Trishie,
Thank you for your kind words. It is our fervent hope and prayer that we may help others who are caring for their elderly or disabled loved ones. This should not have happened to our parents, and it shouldn’t happen to any of God’s children.

Constructing the website was, in a way, a giving of a gift. Only with this gift, we hope that God will take it where it needs to go. Though our dad is gone, we hope that he is looking down at us and smiling.

God bless you for responding. You have added a brightness to our day.
Franciene


#4

Thank you for the information. I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for your family. :gopray:


#5

Hi, I am so sorry for your loss. One thing about Elder Abuse is it is such a newly recognized crime that most people (even law enforcement) know nothing about it. It happens so much, as much as child abuse and like child abuse so little is done about it (actually less). You posted something that is such a passion of mine to create an awareness of, I talk to people constantly about it. In the county I live in, in most counties actually, in home caregivers don’t even have to have criminal background checks. I went to a local meeting with our county APS and asked them when they would start doing them and they said “never, we don’t want to infringe on a persons right to have a job.” My answer was “but, you will infringe on a person’s right to have safe care! That is appalling. You call yourself Adult Protective Services.” I was floored. I also tell people that the legalization of euthanasia will lead to more Elder abuse and no prosecution. It makes me sick. I think it was Mother Teresa who said “you can tell a lot about a coutry by the way they treat their children and their elderly.”


#6

I just read more about your parents! I am so sorry! You and your sister are such an amazing legacy to them, you truly honor them. Thank you for caring so much about all elderly by advocating in such a way. My heart breaks for you. No person should ever die that way. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you are doing. Your dad and God the father are smileing down on you.


#7

To all of you kind hearts who have read my post:

Thank you for visiting our site. May God bless you in your life.

When I first posted, I wasn’t sure that anyone would look at our site. It gives me great joy to see that people are concerned about Elder Abuse and are working to alert others to what can happen to our senior or disabled citizens.
Franciene


#8

I read the site too. I’m shocked that she got away with that. I now can’t trust anyone I work with. But how can I do my job without trusting others? Some people do strange things. Can I be sure no abuse is happening? I have heard stories: a man with diabetes in another workplace was dehydrated to death by people who didn’t want to change him. A caregiver tied together the call-lines of two people who called a lot. Then she said to the manager that everyone did it and that we had told her it was OK. Nope. We were all stunned that she did that. But your parents endured even more.
The page about recognizing sociopaths sounds like it could apply to anyone. I wish I could really know how to tell. I’ve read a lot about that and I still don’t know how to be sure. Someone who used to be a friend has recently said (and then quicky proved) she is a diagnosed sociopath. I recall now how she casually blamed others for everything (but I dismissed it because she was 15 then), took a popular-girl role in every social setting she found by forcing her way into the center of attention and telling everyone what we would do next, so that what she was up for was what was happening so she had the advantage (but I dismissed it because she was 18 and she was so funny sometimes) and seemed amused by obviously awful things, never disturbed at an acquaintence’s misdeeds etc. (but I dismissed it because a lot of social change was happening and she had stood up for me before and reassured me). Later she broke the feet of a disabled person, abused her small child and cheated an extremely poor friend out of a good job, leaving the friend in a terrible bind, while lying and saying she was helping the friend get the job. Live and learn.


#9

Thank you for reading our site. I did want to answer a couple of questions which you posed in your response. I am sorry that this is so long.

First, the perpetrator may appear to have gotten away with her crime. But our faith teaches us that our final judgment comes from God. I believe that if the abuser does not face punishment in this life, punishment will come. And it may be worse than anything I could have thought of.

Second, your concern about recognizing sociopaths. I really recommend reading the book which I cited on the website. But you are not alone in your concern about recognizing those who exhibit these characteristics. Even psychologists and psychiatrists have the same difficulty. It appears that these individuals reveal themselves over a period of time. Unfortunately, sociopaths don’t have a mark on their forehead. We probably won’t recognize them when we meet them.

My sisters and I, while trying to live our faith, befriended and cared for the abuser. Doing this blinded us to what she was doing. As you stated when your friend behaved badly, you made excuses for her, overlooking behavior that you found confusing or inconsistent.

Our mother told us that the caregiver was mean to her. Mother has had dementia for years and is often paranoid. So we overlooked what our mom had said, for we had experienced her paranoia before. We also knew that mom had a difficult time expressing what she really meant, so we tried to guess what she really meant to say. We thought that mom didn’t like some other woman in the home and that was the cause of her complaints. Given what happened, we should have believed our mom and fired the caregiver.

We now believe that it is most important not to befriend an employee. Somehow that crosses a line which tends to blinds us. Dr. Stout says that normal people are often confused about sociopathic behavior. She believes that is our intuition speaking to us.

When it comes to trust, which was your third question, we don’t trust any of the caregivers who take care of mom. Although we are kind and considerate with them, we always check what they say. We don’t take any of their statements as fact. We no longer leave medications in the home. There are only enough medications for a week at a time, and we personally give mom medicine which we believe could be abused. And we have installed cameras and a sound system, so we can see and hear what they are doing. And the caregivers know that we have prosecuted an abuser and will prosecute anyone who hurts our mom.

Good luck in your work. It sounds as though you are in a position of authority or that you work with other caregivers. It is a blessed calling to care for the ill. Thank you again for responding.


#10

And the day after I read this thread a front page story on a possible care-giver homicide appeared in our local paper. The woman was last seen alive the night before she planned to confront her care-giver about forged checks. She was found three days later. No one has been charged in a year since.

So sad.


#11

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