Elder Abuse

by Peggy Rice 2 years ago in grief / grandparents

Many forms of elder abuse are recognized as types of domestic violence or family violence since they are committed by family members

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can be a bad thing for an older person, just the same for a young person as well. I know this can happen in nursing homes as well as their own homes where their own children can abuse them when they can't seem to take care of themselves on their own,or bathe themselves or cook either one, and they have to take any punishment that they can. It can be a traumatic thing to go through and see when you are only a teenager of 17. This is a true story of my grandmother when I spent the weekend over at her house in October 1987. This was the time of year when you can just look outside and see the orange and brown leaves all over the ground from the trees outside.

To my surprise, I never thought this would ever happen when I spent the weekend over to see my grandma and my aunt and uncle. They lived in a small 2 bedroom home out in the country on a rural area. I noticed when I spent the time with her that she never did get anything to eat until after they ate and they would give her the scraps from the table to eat, which should have been what an animal would have eaten. I remember my aunt Patricia used to tell her that was all she was going to eat that night. She only got just a small amount to eat. My grandmother would just shelter herself from them and in a corner away from them. When she went to bed at night, she didn't go to bed the easy way. My uncle Charles would beat on her and forced her to go to bed before 9 p.m. at night with a belt. I know that this is a sad thing to go through. I woke up one night and she would get up in the middle of the night and just look in the bedroom with wandering eyes as if to think "Why did he do this to me"? She stood in the doorway and then turn around and went back to bed. Some nights she would sit in the dark in the living room and not say a word to anyone, but it got to where she could not tolerate it any longer because of the pain she was going through. I tried to get her to live with my parents but she refused to live there with them. My parents would not have beaten on her that way and they were going to take care of her but she refused and she was depending on her son and daughter in law to see after her but it was a bad mistake.

That saturday morning on October 17, 1987; I was in the bedroom checking on their two twin baby boys. I didn't realize that to my surprise that my uncle was going to give my grandmother a bath that afternoon. I was thinking to myself "Why didn't Patricia give her a bath, or I"? It didn't happen that way, it was my uncle. I watched him struggle with her to get her clothes taken off and to take a bath and he made her get in the tub of water which was not cold nor warm water but "It was Hot". I told him that will scald her. My uncle spoke up and told me "She can handle it". I watched him bathe her and she was struggling to get out of the water and he pushed her down. She struggled once again to get out of the water and he spoke up and told her "Old lady if you get up one more time, I will kill you"! I watched him, and when he started to wash her hair, that was plain torture to see anyone go through. He poured hot scalding water over her body, and she was screaming as loud as she could scream. I had to look away because it was hurting me so much that I looked down and I was speechless. I could not call anyone for help, because they did not have a phone in their home at the time. It seems like it was yesterday that everything happened to her.

I heard my aunt tell me she needed to die and get out of the way. I told her no she don't and I told her even though I had hurt in my eyes, I told my grandmother that I loved her very much and I will fight for her but he would have overpowered me if I tried. Right before she passed away, she started getting Alzheimer's where she got to where she could not remember anyone except my mother Helen and I. I know two weeks before she passed away, she wanted to see me. Well, it was too late for me to see her at the house.

We got a phone call on February 29, 1988 that she was in ICU at the hospital. I had to see her at the hospital but had to make the nurse to let me see her, and I saw her only five minutes and I ran out of the room crying. I told them she won't make it through the night. She passed away at 10:30 p.m. on February 29th.

We did find out how she passed away. I went over to see if I could find her belongings and her stuff was not there but I did see a plate of food still sitting there with beans and cornbread hardly ever touched on a coffee table. I noticed the high chair the twin boys had was turned over. I knew right then, my uncle beat her up. If anyone ever has to go through with this like she did, I pray that noone has to see it like I did. It tortures me right to this day what happened to her.

If you have a loved one that is an elder, please love them with all you got because they will be gone in a blink of an eye like she did. I miss my grandmother dearly. If I could take it all back, I sure would. The ones that did her that way has passed away now and they probably found out how it felt to abuse a person. I just have to say this, "I prayed for so much mercy for their souls".

“Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is a situation that can utterly consume the lives and well-being of the people giving care, just as the disorder consumes its victims.”.

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Peggy Rice

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