Do you remember the old Smokey the Bear commercials? They always said, “Only can prevent forest fires.” Taken literally, of course, it’s an absurd statement. You cannot personally be around to prevent all forest fires, and the truth is that you cannot prevent a spark of lightning from starting a forest fire even if you are in the area. However, the commercials made sense and had an impact because there are things that you can do to prevent forest fires. In the same sense, we can say that only you can prevent elder abuse.
Elder abuse is a real and growing problem in the United States. With our aging population has come a growing group of people who seek to take advantage of that aging population. It is relatively easy for these abusers to operate because not enough of us pay close enough attention to what is going on. We do not regularly visit our elderly family members and make sure that everything is alright for them. That’s often all that it takes to prevent elder abuse: regular visits and making sure they are OK.
Do not let your family members be abused. You cannot prevent all elder abuse, but you can make sure it does not affect your family.