From The Book: (Excerpted from the six page chapter)
"Abuse of any nature is unacceptable. As a society we have only
recently begun to pay attention to the many different forms of abuse, with child abuse and spousal abuse gaining the most attention. Only occasionally do we hear of elder abuse.
When we do, we view it with shock, and regard it with disbelief, contempt and disdain. We don't seem to understand that there are those who would mistreat and actually
harm elderly people, especially on a frequent and perpetual basis. Why? Because we would like to believe that such atrocities could not take place,
and perhaps we even take a viewpoint of "out of sight, out of mind." "Let them take care of themselves" might be an uneducated observation. But elder abuse does exist, and like so many other crimes,
much of it simply goes unreported."
"Imagine the misery of an older person who is abused day after day
and is afraid to report it to anyone because, after all, "I have a roof over my head." The problem is that the abuse can take many forms, none of which the frail and sick person
can defend themselves against.
We would like to think that nursing homes are able to prevent what would seem like abuse to those within, and to those who visit them. But in reality, several forms of abuse occur within care centers of all types, and not just on an occasional personal basis. Although all states have some statutes that supposedly protect patients, several instances have occurred where mass abuse of residents has taken place. Unfortunately, these instances are
discovered well after the fact, well after the patients have suffered physical and/or emotional abuse, and many times, well after the perpetrators are gone."
"We may have no choice in this matter to do anything other than what
I suggest. Present regulatory forces are not getting the job done (how could they?) and with 76 MILLION baby boomers about to swell the numbers, the problems associated with elder abuse
and senior fraud could well be rampant by the time our aged society reaches 50 to 60 to 70 million elderly. With 15-40 trillion dollars precariously poised to be passed on, would
you suspect that Sweetheart scams alone could evolve into mega operations of gigantic proportion? America needs to start preparing a totally new and different approach to solving this
problem NOW, before the situation manifests itself even more and is compounded by additional demographic numbers. In short, we'd better start preparing before a national
disgrace becomes an epidemic. When the "boomers" wake up one day and find themselves with no mechanism in place to help defend them from these problems, they may find themselves being
reminded of what "Pogo" said years ago, "We have met the enemy and he is us!"