Re­spect el­ders

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS | OPINION -

EL­DER abuse is rife be­cause there is no leg­is­lated sys­tem of mon­i­tor­ing in-home el­der care and no set pa­tient-nurse ra­tio to pro­tect the needs of those sus­cep­ti­ble to abuse in aged care.

No manda­tory re­port­ing sys­tem is in place to re­duce the risk to the vul­ner­a­ble in pri­vate care.

Un­like reg­i­mented child­care cen­tres, adop­tion, and fos­ter­ing and a rigid regime for those on govern­ment DOCS child watch, se­niors are our so­ci­ety’s most vul­ner­a­ble de­mo­graphic.

Those who can­not speak for them­selves are left to the mercy of those who can.

Like bul­ly­ing, it is an in­di­rect at­tack on those who can­not fight back and who aren’t pro­tected by leg­is­la­tion, es­pe­cially in their own homes, by their own fam­i­lies.

They can suf­fer phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, emo­tional and fi­nan­cial abuse, with few ad­vo­cates ready to pro­tect them, re­ly­ing rather on the good­will, com­pas­sion and de­cency of oth­ers.

Those cases re­ported are just the tip of the ice­berg.

Many don’t com­plain through fear of reprisal or un­der threat of aban­don­ment or abuse.

With a rise in de­men­tia and Alzheimer’s, lack of fam­ily sup­port sys­tems and fam­i­lies with a sense of en­ti­tle­ment to the fam­ily in­her­i­tance, in many cases, the el­derly face many hur­dles when they can no longer care for them­selves.

They are the voice­less within a so­ci­ety, where the cur­rency is youth­ful­ness and the old-age are scorned.

Vir­tu­ally at the mercy of oth­ers, some of whom they may not even know, they have few op­tions.

A rise in in­ter­net fraud, tar­get­ing su­per­an­nu­a­tion and se­niors in par­tic­u­lar, has net­ted mil­lions of dol­lars from the naive, who are eas­ily tricked into giv­ing per­sonal de­tails to those who pur­port to be of­fi­cials.

This is but the fi­nan­cial abuse they suf­fer.

To suf­fer at the hands of one of their own, must be the most dev­as­tat­ing and un­con­scionable.

A so­ci­ety is judged on how it treats its most vul­ner­a­ble.

The buck stops with the govern­ment to pro­tect these who made Aus­tralia the great na­tion it is, when they have few ded­i­cated ad­vo­cates.



DOLLS AND BEARS: The Sun­shine Coast Doll, Bear, Craft and Minia­ture Club’s an­nual show takes place from 9am to 3pm on Satur­day, July 22 at the Bud­erim War Memo­rial Hall. There will be trade ta­bles, demon­stra­tions and more. En­try is $5 for adults and $1 for chil­dren un­der 14. Phone 5451 1106 to find out more.

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