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Mickey Rooney: If Elder Abuse Can Happen To Me, It Can Happen To Anyone

Mickey Rooney: If Elder Abuse Can Happen To Me, It Can Happen To Anyone

As an actor, Mickey Rooney was a success even at an early age.  But that fame didn’t protect him from being taken advantage of in his old age, as a family member exploited him financially.  Now, Rooney has broken his silence to speak out against elder abuse.

Via The Hill:

“If elder abuse happened to me, Mickey Rooney, it can happen to anyone.”

With this statement last week before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, 90-year old entertainment legend Mickey Rooney focused the nation’s attention on a growing problem that long has remained invisible.

We’ve spent countless billions to extend how long we live, but many fewer resources to ensure safety and well-being in the time we’ve gained.  Our failure to address the problem means that millions of our parents and grandparents are paying the price in the form of physical, sexual and psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation.

Elder abuse occurs in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, other care settings, and, most often, at home. And it’s deadly, leading to a 300% increase in premature death.

Rooney alleges that his step-son and wife withheld food and medication, isolated and verbally abused him, and controlled his life and assets.  Neither fame nor fortune protected him from a fate that befalls untold millions of others.

David Perecman, an elder abuse lawyer, applauded Rooney for his testimony.

“Elder abuse is a genuine problem. The elderly are a particularly vulnerable group and putting a spotlight on this issue, and giving it a human face, may make a real difference in the daily lives of a very vulnerable population,” said Perecman.

“Elder abuse can happen in all kinds of households, poor, middle class, and upper-income; it crosses ethnic lines and demographics. Now we can see it can happen to celebrities,” said the New York civil rights violation lawyer.

 

The statistics on elder abuse is frightening.  Nearly 8 percent of those over 60 who were contacted by phone said they had experienced some form of abuse, according to The Hill.  Those are just the ones who would or even could admit the problem.  And nearly half of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other dementia are believed to be abused by their caregivers.

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77 comments

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2:13PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

This is tragic! I'm sorry to hear that so many people have no integrity or compassion.

10:35AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

9:27AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

And there are some parents who cannot be cared for by their children. If they live long enough, the children are too old and feeble to take care of them. If the children are not financially able to take care of their parents. In our case, we are taking care of a severely disabled adult child of our own. And I knew a nice lady who adopted three handicapped children. She had to make sure they were placed with someone to take care of them when she was diagnosed as terminally ill. There is a real purpose for nursing homes etc. They should be well funded and regulated with oversight. If we really wanted small government they would have oversight by the town or county they are in and the local churches. But that rarely happens.

5:23AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

Wow... I'm utterly shocked. That people can do things like that to their own family is just... There are no words... I'm sitting here, just trying to word my horror, and it's simply impossible. I will NEVER do any of this to my parents, EVER!

3:42PM PST on Jan 1, 2013

noted :(

9:57AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

Sad but Nursing HOmes find it easier to over-drug the older patients just to keep them quiet and out of their way...if you complain, they WILL take it out on the patients! Just really sad, we take better care of our prisoners than our elders!

4:32PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

cont....stolen that time away from me and my wonderful dad.

4:25PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

It's truly horrible.

Conversely, while I was hospitalized for five months due to a dangerous pregnancy, one of my relatives had my elderly dad with dementia sign over all of his property and access to his money to them and accused me of elder abuse to cover their wicked deeds.
I spent the last year of my fathers life afraid to visit him because, at the time, I had no idea who had accused me (was it his caretaker?) and I was afraid I would be accused of something horrible. The investigators never called to tell me the investigation was over. My accuser was only identified because she couldn't keep track of her lies and I only saw my father twice in the year before he died. My fathers ex-wife...my own mother, took all of my fathers property. I would have gladly given up anything I stood to inherit just to have those last months to visit with him and let him know I love him and let him meet his new granddaughters. Money and property vs being with the only person who ever loved me...but because she wanted the material things, I lost both.
It's important for us to care for our elders and make sure they aren't being taken advantage of, but please please be careful about accusing someone of abuse.
My dad probably died thinking I'd abandoned him when the truth was I was afraid of more accusations and losing my newborn children because of abuse allegations.
My mom can keep the houses and the cars and the money, it means nothing to me, but I sure as hell wish she had not stole

3:30PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

A sad truth that is already out of control.

3:29PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

A sad truth that is already out of control.

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