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Taking Care of Parents Who Didn't Take Care of You: Making Peace With Aging Parents -- This is a guide to taking care of difficult parents, parents who were themselves not very good at parenting. Sympathetic and sensible, it suggests ways to navigate the minefields of aging parents and family dysfunctions and shows how to create new, emotionally healthy roles among the old family scripts. The book illustrates its many guidelines and suggestions with stories from others who have shared the same, difficult journey. Readers will discover that it is possible to come to terms with the dysfunctions in their families of origin and find healing in the process. Dysfunctional or not, our parents are going to be around a lot longer than any other generation before them, and we will be faced with managing their care. Taking Care of Parents Who Didn't Take Care of You offers readers compassionate and practical guidance to facing the psychological and emotional issues that arise when caring for aging parents. The result is a powerful and timely book that moves readers beyond anger, regret and grief in order to build healthy new family dynamics based on decency and mercy.


"Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. For every case of elder abuse and neglect reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as 5 cases not reported. Research suggests elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease." Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions

Neglect 58.5%
Physical abuse 15.7%
Financial exploitation 12.3%
Emotional abuse 7.3%

Sexual abuse .04%
All other types 5.1%
Unknown .06%

American's over the age of 50 years represent 30% of our population, 12% of our murder victims and 7% of other serious and violent crime victims.

90% of elder abuse and neglect incidents are by known perpetrators, usually family members, 2/3rds are adult children or spouses. 42% of murder victims over 60 were killed by their own offspring. Spouses were the perpetrators in 24% of family murders of persons over 60.

The eldest of our seniors, 80 years and older, are abused and neglected at 2 - 3 times the proportion of all other senior citizens. -- Bureau of Justice Statistics

In most states "mandatory reporters of elder abuse" are required by law to report suspected cases of elder maltreatment. Nearly 70 percent of Adult Protective Service agencies' annual caseloads involve elder abuse.

21.6% of all domestic elder abuse reports came from physicians or health care professionals 9.4% from service providers, 14.9% are family members. They types of abuses and their percentage of frequency are below.

National Center on Elder Abuse, 1994 The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study: Final Report Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families & Administration on Aging, US Department of Health and Human Services

Autopsy Cutbacks Reveal 'Gray Homicides' -- An investigation by NPR, PBS Frontline and ProPublica found a trend to assume the elderly always die of natural causes. They fear there's a quiet epidemic of what they call "gray homicides" going undetected and unpunished.

More than 91% of nursing homes lack adequate staff to properly care for patients. The Health and Human Services Department report found patients in understaffed nursing homes were more likely to suffer from problems such as bed sores, malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, pneumonia, and serious blood born infections. It will only increase, as the population of people aged 85 or older is expected to double to 8.9 million by the year 2030.

Elder Abuse and Neglect - Overviews, definitions and insights into the increasingly common problem of elder abuse.

Resources, Organizations and Government Agencies

Regional Information

Bruce Lemoine's family was told he would be cared for at a Manorcare, but he died from exposure after he was left outside, strapped in his wheelchair in near 100-degree heat.

Nadine Howden, 68, a bedridden, diabetic woman died of gangrene in her filth-filled home might be a victim of homicide by abuse. She was found dead in her bed by a police officer last month. She was lying in her own feces, and her foot was infested with maggots even prior to her death. Detectives are looking at charging Howden's 36-year-old son, who was her caretaker. Her developmentally disabled daughter appears to be living there alone, now.

No Justice for "Throwaway" People -- When state-paid caregivers commit crimes against their patients, they often go scot-free.

1 out of 10 Washington state nursing homes was penalized in 1999 for poor care of residents. Nearly 2 in 10 homes are in such dire financial shape that they've filed bankruptcy or closed their doors. Turnover rates for nursing home aides now top 100 percent a year.

Sante Kimes, 65, and her son, Kenneth, 24, planned to steal 82-year-old Irene Silverman’s $10 million Manhattan townhouse. When the widow when she got in their way, they killed her. They were convicted of murder, criminal possession of a weapon, conspiracy, forgery, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and eavesdropping, sentenced to more than a century each behind bars. Sante has a rap sheet that going back 4 decades. From Rikers Island in New York, exclusive one-on-one interviews with Sante and her son, Kenneth.

Ice Box Murders - Houston, Texas - Father's Day, June 20, 1965, was a day of celebration for many residents of the Hyde Park Addition in Houston, Texas. An older neighborhood, dating back to the 1920's, it wasn't a likely location for Houston's most grisly double homicide. But on that date, two elderly residents of 1815 Driscoll Street, Fred C. Rogers 81, and his wife, Edwina H. Rogers 72, were murdered. Three nights later their mutilated, dissected bodies were found in the kitchen refrigerator of their home by 2 Houston police officers. 35 years later no arrest has been made in the case. (Excerpts from "The Ice Box Murders" (c)2000 Hugh E. Gardenier, III and Martha Leonard Hughes)

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Kill Grandma for Me James Defelice -- December, 1994, Wendy Gardner, 13, convinced James Evans, 15, her lover, to strangle her grandmother. Wendy took her little sister, stole her grandmother's money, and went on a three-day orgy. One of the most bizarre killings ever committed in New York.

The Bone Garden by William P. Wood -- Dorothy Puente ran a boardinghouse in Sacramento and murdered elderly tenants with poison to collect their Social Security.

Health, Mind & Body

Nursing Home Nightmares: America's Disgrace a True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Corporate Greed

Landmark Trials of Michigan v. Kevorkian: The Ethics of Assisted Suicide This special features highlights of the most recent trial, reaction to the verdict, the history of Kevorkian's mission to legalize assisted suicide, critical issues raised by his unorthodox views, and interviews with the key players and family members over the years.

Magazine Subscriptions

Aahsa Legal Memo
The only legal newsletter that focuses exclusively on issues of concern to not-for-profit long-term care providers. Allows owners, operators, managers, and attorneys to stay well informed about various nursing home policies and legislative modifications that pertain to the nursing home industry.

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