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Could You Not Wait #MondayMusings #MondayBlogs #UNIDOP2018

I wrote this just now as I thought about many elderly people who are struggling. I was also ‘inspired’ by my own cousins who could not wait to get their hands on the property even while my grandmother was alive! If it hadn’t been for my mother who stood her ground with them, they might have had my grandmother on the road! Looking back, I want to ask them: ‘Could you not wait?’

Could You Not Wait?

Could you not wait
Just a few more minutes
While I try to
Remember what I
Wanted to tell you?

Could you not wait
Just a few more minutes
While I finish my meal
Before whipping my plate away?

Could you not wait
Just a little while
For the guests to go
Before berating me
For talking ‘rubbish’?

Could you not wait
Just a little while more
While I attempt to re-learn
How to walk again
But this time with a stick?

Could you not wait
Just a few more months
Before transferring my
Money into your account?

Could you not wait
Just a few more years
Before moving into my house
While putting me in a ‘home’?

could you not wait

Today, 1st October, is International Day of Older Persons.

Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth. With this in mind, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required.

Today, I want to highlight the growing epidemic of Elder Abuse.

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuses states:

“Elder abuse is a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person” (Action on Elder Abuse 1995).

Elder abuse has been categorized as:
● physical abuse: the infliction of pain or injury, physical coercion, physical/chemical restraint
● psychological/emotional abuse: the infliction of mental anguish
● financial/material abuse: the illegal or improper exploitation and/or use of funds or resources
● sexual abuse: non-consensual contact of any kind with an older person
● neglect: intentional or unintentional refusal or failure to fulfill a care-taking obligation

“The distressing crime of elder abuse often occurs in quiet, private settings, making a vocal, public response that much more important. Let us strengthen our resolve to end this problem as part of our broader efforts to create a life of dignity for all,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Elder Helpline in India – Call to report elder abuse : 1800-180-1253

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24 Comments

  1. Parul Thakur Parul Thakur October 9, 2018

    That’s such a heartfelt piece. I have seen my grandparents house being sold for any money to strangers. My mum being the youngest did not have a say. It’s so sad and I loved that you wrote about this Corinne. Hugs. <3

  2. Sanch @ Sanch Writes Sanch @ Sanch Writes October 6, 2018

    Interesting topic and I didn’t realise it was occurring. Having said that, there are elderly people with dementia and sometimes, they may misremember things or may perceive things as abuse whereas it is for their own safety. As for putting the elderly in a home, again, I think if it’s for their care and safety, and if a family cannot provide it due to other commitments, it might be the only option.

  3. Roshan Radhakrishnan Roshan Radhakrishnan October 4, 2018

    Wow… this is a superb topic and something I never really considered writing about all these years. Sadly, so true also… and I worry that a single helpline will never be adequate. Like for suicide help centers, we need dozens across states alone

  4. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom October 3, 2018

    That was such a touching poem. It seems unbelievable that children would do this to their own parents.

  5. Bhavna Kaushik Bhavna Kaushik October 2, 2018

    Who loved us through our worst definitely deserves our best.

  6. Priya Bajpai Priya Bajpai October 2, 2018

    They need all the love and care that they unconditionally give us.

  7. Ramya Abhinand Ramya Abhinand October 2, 2018

    This has moved me totally Corinne. Got me into introspection mode. I have elderly parents, and sometimes despite it getting difficult, I need to consciously tell myself to hold on. I definitely dont consider them a liability. … but well the world can get cruel sometimes in many cases

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 2, 2018

      Oh I know what you mean, Ramya. It’s hard to be patient and I know I’ve exchanged cross words with my folks too.

  8. Anamika Agnihotri Anamika Agnihotri October 2, 2018

    This is a topic about which not much is talked about. Out of all the possible points of abuse mentioned in this post, mental anguish must be the most common one. I know an old relative who, soon after her son got married to a girl not according to her choice, began collecting news and data as how some or the other person kicked his/her parents out of the home or left alone at the railway station or airport after making false promises. I can only imagine the fear she lived with. Maybe because I am middle-aged at present, I might lack the compassion to think from the much older generation’s perspective.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 2, 2018

      I agree about the mental anguish, especially as with age comes insecurity.

  9. BellyBytes BellyBytes October 2, 2018

    Oh God! This is a terrible reality. Old people ( and I’m soon getting there ) are considered a liability after their utility. It is really unseemly how people wait for them to die. And old age abuse is also shocking. But here I’d like to share another view point. One old lady in our building used to grumble about how she wasn’t allowed out of the house. She was once a doctor and had an active social life. But she didn’t realise that she had Alzheimer’s and was found wandering around in the city, completely lost and disoriented. The family had to keep her ‘under lock and key’ as she accused them of doing only for her own safety. For people unfamiliar with her situation, this would tantamount to abuse….
    Old people also often imagine a lot of stuff. For instance another old relative with Alzheimers was told not to wear her jewellery as she was prone to leaving it lying around and it would have got stolen. She told all her friends that her family had taken it away!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 2, 2018

      Thank you for sharing, Sunita. I do understand about elders with Alzheimer’s. However, from all we read, there are many more ‘real’ cases out there.

  10. Michele Morin Michele Morin October 1, 2018

    I wondered which post to share here until I read your own thoughts! I love it when writing friends meet on a topic!

  11. Vishal Bheeroo Vishal Bheeroo October 1, 2018

    What the world is becoming? The elderly are so vulnerable when we see sick minds inflicting violence, abuse or stealing property. Your poem does justice to the elderly who worked so hard and the hard earned money belong to them. We can be better human beings.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 2, 2018

      There’s so much abuse towards the weak, it’s so scary, Vishal.

  12. Mahati ramya adivishnu Mahati ramya adivishnu October 1, 2018

    That’s an important message to the current generation Corinne. Just we need to show some love and kindness and have more patience with elders.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 2, 2018

      Yes, it’s difficult to be patient, but there’s no other choice, is there?

  13. Lydia Lydia October 1, 2018

    This was a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  14. Balaka Basu Balaka Basu October 1, 2018

    This post made my heart heavy. There are indeed few people who never care. Beautiful poem Corry.
    BTW, I am unable to find the linky for Monday Musing.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 1, 2018

      It’s very painful, isn’t it?

      PS: I forgot to create it! Sorry. Give me 5 minutes, please.

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