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Of Late, Visits by Margery's Son Have Started to Worry Her

Elder abuse is an insidious presence in the life of many seniors. Often the individual does not realize what is happening until daily life becomes unsafe and one's children represent a threat. Consider the story of Margery, a 78-year-old woman living alone in the family home that she purchased with her husband several decades ago. It was an ideal setting to raise their two children. Her husband passed away three years ago but she has stayed on because of the memories of their life together.

When he passed on, she assured her children that she was financially secure. The house was mortgage-free, her pensions were quite adequate, and there was money in the bank. She could live well and without stress. Both children seemed relieved that she would be OK.

She took a while to settle into her new single life but she is accustomed to it now. Her daughter calls regularly to stay in touch. Her son lives in town and has taken to arriving unannounced almost every day. Actually, these visits are starting to worry her


Currently her son is working in another low-paying job. During his visits he complains bitterly that the job is beneath him and his boss is incompetent. This is a regular diatribe that inevitably ends with a request for money to cover some living expense or another.

On his last visit, things took a worrisome turn.

When he arrived in mid-afternoon without warning, she was surprised to see him. Her first thought was that he had lost another job. It turned out she was correct in this assumption.

He was angrier than usual and he demanded that she make him something to eat. As she started the preparation he launched into a sarcastic mimicry of her actions. He had gone to the counter to pour himself a coffee and he was standing inches away from her. "The least you can do is feed me when I take the time to come and visit. After all, you are the one with all the money, left to you by Dad, I might add."

She could feel his hostility beside her and she tried to make his sandwich with trembling hands. She knew better than to answer him when he was like this. "And by the way, I am not leaving here without the money to make my car payment. I am your son and you owe me for looking after you. Don't you think I have better things to do than visit you every day?"

When he leaves, he has a cheque in his pocket. This is the third one this month.

Margery feels weak in the knees and she has feelings of anxiety. She comes to the realization that she does not feel safe around her son any more. The way he speaks to her is unacceptable and today his body language was threatening. She cannot keep giving him money. Just the thought of telling someone about this raises a feeling of shame. Even now she wants to protect and help her son.

If this is you, call someone for help!