What is elder abuse?
I have to confess, I have been slack in my legal blog lately.
So, I thought I should make a change this new year.
The Tan and Tan Lawyers website is going through an update and should be up in 2 week’s time.
The practice has been going well with the added bright look into the future with both my sons studying law.
Golf handicap wise, it continues to be a struggle as I try to get down to a handicap of 16 which I promised myself last year. I am still at a handicap of 20. So the new aim is to get to a handicap of 16 by the Chinese New year. Charles Pan, my golf coach has been pushing me hard.
Lately, I have been getting a few cases on elder abuse.
What is elder abuse? It’s where the children of parents are unwilling to await their inheritance. They instead try to abuse their parents in different ways to try and get their parent’s moneys.
Recent reports indicate that up to one in five older Western Australians are suffering from elder abuse.
It is so bad that a recent National Elder Abuse Annual Report was done. It found that 32.2% of perpetrators are the older person’s son and 30.7% are the person’s daughter.
Experts believe that that is only the tip of an iceberg with many cases going unreported.
So what kind of abuse are our poor seniors suffering from:
(a) abuse of enduring power of attorney given to relatives.
(b) emotional abuse by preventing parents from having contact with other children.
(c ) slapping or even burning parents.
(d) over medicating or under medicating. Why?
With a hope that the parent’s life will be shortened so that the children get their hands on their inheritance faster.
The list goes on and it saddens me when I have to face these cases in my practice. However, I feel strongly about issues of parental abuse more than anything else in my practise of law.
Being a traditional Asian brought up to respect and honour my parents, such cases touches a raw nerve in my body.
Elder abuse could happen by placing your father in an all English speaking nursing home instead of one where the staff speaks the language that your father only understands and there are residents of the same cultural background.
I am in the midst of a case where an enduring power of attorney was given to a son. The son is now trying to sell the family home and stopping the father from seeing the other children.
Hence, it is important that you see a lawyer to discuss your rights especially in whether an enduring power of attorney or guardianship should be given to any child.
If you believe any seniors is being abused, you should report the matter to www.advocare.org.au
For parents. they should think hard about whom they are giving their enduring power of attorneys or enduring power of guardianships to. Seek legal advice to protect yourself.