Elderly abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation are some of the major issues faced by senior citizens and the data from World Health Organisation indicate that 4 to 6 percent of elderly people suffer from some or other form of abuse and a large percentage of it goes unreported.
The United Nations has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day that aims to get global attention on the severe problem of physical, emotional and financial abuse of the elderly. Not many have the courage to speak against injustice but there are a few who after facing atrocities, some even at the hands of their own family, have shown courage and stood up to protest the wrong.
WittyFeed brings you heart-wrenching, real-life stories of people who have suffered at hands of other people. They have urged others to stay alert and fight abuse.
"You're not stupid, you're not silly. You may be lost a little bit but you really have to do something about it. At some point, you have to stand up and be counted", says the 79-year-old victim Lois Holland on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day who was bilked out of her money last year by a man she considered as a friend and had known her for the past 2 years. Holland shared her story at an Edmonton police (Canada) event to mark WEAAD 2016 in hope that with her coming out in the open she would be able to prevent others of her age from being victimised.
American actor Mickey Rooney at the age 90 was emotionally and financially abused by his step children against whom he had filed a restraining order.
"For years I suffered silently. I didn't want to tell anybody. I couldn't muster the courage and you have to have courage. I needed help and I knew I needed it. Even when I tried to speak up, I was told to shut up and be quiet."
Rooney had asked US government to pass a law making elder abuse a specific crime.
Gutz bought $10,000 in gift cards from Sam's Club and was going to read the card numbers over the phone to a man who claimed he had accidentally deposited $10k into Gutz's bank account. The man pleaded him to return the money as he claimed his job was in jeopardy. Luckily, John's daughter Julia called to check on him and they reported it.
Elderly, broke and homeless, all were duped by Maria Duval who claimed she would turn their lives around. All they needed to do was send in money.
Leela DeVere's mother was suffering from Alzheimer's when she started sending in $139 a month.
A 96-year-old man is now bankrupt and at the mercy of the state, said a Milwaukee resident about his father-in-law.
An 82-year-old Oregon widow said she regretted the day she started sending money and now has no money as she lives on social security.
Staffers at Quail Creek Nursing home were stealing from Eryetha Mayberry and when her three daughters began suspecting it they placed a hidden camera in the room. The footage captured horrific actions of workers shoving and taunting the 96-year-old Mayberry who suffers from dementia and was unable to remember the abuse.
Myra Hardy, 55 is bedridden and suffers from multiple sclerosis and when discovered by authorities she was suffering from a severe infection, had open sores and had faeces on her. The bandage had not been changed and she smelled of decaying flesh.
It was her husband Richard Hardy who was her supposed caretaker and according to the children, he had isolated them from their mother.
75-year-old Marie Bois Belfort was rescued from her caregiver's house from the basement bedroom with the thermostat off and the temperature reading 51 degrees. She was dehydrated, malnourished and had bed sores.
Sandra Calixte Lucien was her 48-year-old caregiver and a registered nurse. She said she had taken in Belfort as no one else would care for her.
Jean, a 65-year-old became a victim of financial exploitation and it was none other than her own brother Bob who stole her life's savings.
"For the past couple of years, I have struggled emotionally because of personal problems. I felt overwhelmed and could not handle my financial affairs." Her brother offered to help but instead duped her of $304,000 and by the time she realised, he left her financially destitute.
The 90-year-old-widower Samuel Sonora, despite his memory and cognitive problems, was living on his own until a married couple approached and offered to help him around the house and perform minor home repairs. The distant relatives of Sonora were happy about it but soon the couple took his money and restricted his access to the family.
Samuel's relative couldn't reach him and contacted officials who finally found him 1,000 miles away from his home without having a clue how he landed there. Investigations revealed that the couple had written off thousands of dollars from Sonora's bank account in the name of maintenance work.
According to a survey, a whopping 47% of Bangalore's adults experience abuse.
"On an average, we receive about 30 calls daily, of which about 60% are related to cheating or harassment by a family member. These figures are much less because not many elders who call us register a formal complaint with police," says Radha S Murthy, managing trustee of Nightingales Medical Trust.
"The very people whom we admired and adored all our lives threw us out of the house...I miss my son and his children every day. But he has never tried to get in touch or is ashamed of his deeds," said Hemlata, 76 who shared her painful story on the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Jerry Andrew Active, 24, was arrested after he sexually assaulted Sorn Areap, 73, and killed her and her husband Touch Chea, 71. He sexually assaulted their 2-year-old great-granddaughter.
A widow from Kolkata was left stranded at the airport by her son on the pretext of taking her to the US after he sold off all her property. He took her to the airport and vanished. After waiting for hours, she enquired and got to know her son never booked a ticket in her name and that he had already boarded the plane leaving her behind.
When Chanchondo Devi's husband died she had to live with her son and daughter-in-law who locked her in the cow-shed and fed her through the window. She was rescued when the police were investigating her daughter-in-law's suicide for which her son was later found guilty.
If someone you know is being emotionally, physically or mentally abused then you can save them before it is too late.