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Elder Abuse: How It Devastates Families and How It Can Be Combated

One of the most difficult things to break in life is the cycle of violence. Problems arise when an abused child becomes a caregiver for the parent who abused them. This is when elder abuse occurs. The child is forced to care for their parent later on.

This is the point in time where people think about the relationships they have with their partners and family members. And, in some cases, abuse is one part of the family dynamic. Violence can be difficult to break. Parents abuse their children in various ways:

• Verbal – telling them they’ll constantly fail
• Physical – hitting them

The problem is that the abuse can extend throughout their life, affecting future generations. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, one-third of abused children will abuse their own children. All across the country, social service agencies try to teach the public about the problem, in the hopes to break the violence cycle.

Children who grew up in an abusive household and suddenly become caregivers for the abusers often feel depressed. These caregivers are far more likely to abuse their elderly parents than un-abused caregivers. The violence cycle hurts families and brings to light how important it is to take measure to stop both instances of abuse – child and adult.

Adult Protective Services’ Role and Its Biggest Problem

Adult Protective Services is the government agency designed to protect senior citizens. The agency, like Child Protective Services, is underfunded and a large caseload per staff member. Elder abuse is a major problem that’s growing in numbers every year, which is why it’s important to boost amount of money that’s funded to the programs designed to stop it.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Congress-passed Elder Justice Act, which is designed to give support to educational programs and stop elder abuse. However, no money was ever put towards the Act and, in September, it’s going to expire. APS must have the funding the 2010 act could give it to carry out its mission to protect senior citizens. It’s up to concerned citizens to not let the Act expire and tell Congress they need to put money into it.

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