Ending Elder Abuse

Mountaintop Faith Ministries‘ Titus 2 Ministry discussed Elder Abuse today. I slipped next door to their meeting after attending the monthly meeting of Adult Christian Education teachers’ meeting. Both meetings, it is fair to say, focused on relationships. Removing the obstacles to building and maintaining relationships begins with trusting our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)

Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Deuteronomy 5:16 KJV)

The guest speaker, a Marriage and Family Therapist, Sister Nancy Sargent Hunterton, in addition to providing compelling statistics on the incidence of elder abuse and contact information for various hotlines where one may anonymously report suspected abuse, asked us to consider where we have been unable or unwilling to be available to an elder, where we’ve lost patience with or interest in an elder’s contributions, stories or life. She also suggested that wherever we doubt we will be, have, give, or get “enough” is the place where we are most likely to shortchange another.

We can take steps to end elder abuse by forgiving our parents for things they did or were unable to do in our childhoods; intercede prayerfully on behalf of those elders we know – whether we suspect elder abuse or not, perhaps even visit or volunteer at a nursing home nearby; and we can build and maintain healthy relationships with people of all ages, loving each neighbor as we love ourselves.

Useful numbers:

  • Crisis Call Center:            800-992-5757
  • Eldercare Locator:            800-677-1116
  • Division of Aging Services:    702-486-3545
  • State Protective Services:       702-486-6930
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