December 25, 2019 - By By Thomas E. Santarlas, Ph.D.
<p>Many of us still have parents or grandparents in our lives. These are the people that have raised us and provided love, nourishment, shelter, clothing and spiritual direction. They have molded us into the people we are today. As they age and enter the twilight of their lives, our family members require the same special attention that was afforded to us as we grew into adulthood. This is the period of their lives when they become physically, mentally and emotionally needy. As adult children of an elderly person, we have a moral obligation to care for them in a manner that is consistent with Canon Law. Doctrine and ideology are deeply rooted in all religious affiliations as they define the parameters of a belief system. Thus you will find volumes of sacred theoretical books of scripture outlining desired, if not mandatory human behaviors. Regardless of your religious denomination, we can all agree that elder abuse is most certainly a sin and definitely a criminal act.</p>
<p>The abuse of an elderly person can occur in a number of different ways. The most common form is that of financial exploitation. This occurs when someone of trust uses the elder’s assets in a manner inconsistent with their expectations or without a legally informed consent. A caregiver, family member or significant other may intentionally engage in this type of abuse through the misappropriation of funds in their care, control or custody. This criminal could also be psychologically abusing the elder through isolation and/or intimidation. Nobody likes to be sheltered from others or lose their independence. The thought of being exiled to a nursing home may seem like a life ending event for the senior. To avoid these outcomes, the victim simply gives-in and complies with the criminal’s demands. Sometimes the elder is mentally incapable to distinguish between a scheming criminal and an honest caretaker. They never realize that their life’s savings are slowing being siphoned by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.</p>
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