By: Rana Goodman
Well now, it looks like I am getting a challenge from my publisher, but if he thinks he is going to scare me into the kitchen he will be eating tuna sandwiches for a while. Yes, he is right, I do love tilting at windmills, but I am not quite as naïve as “the boss” thinks.(smile, sure!)
There are many “newbies” in office this legislative session and I have made it a point to spend time with many of them. I am the first to admit that there is much truth to the saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and that may happen to some of the good guys once they get into the swing of things in Carson City.
I still, however do believe that there are many fine, well intentioned assemblymen and women and senators that sincerely want to do the right thing. Will they buckle under and buy into the sale’s pitch of the power house lobbyists? God knows there are so many of them.
Fortunately I don’t give up easily, and when I believe in “my fight” - although I might not have the dollars of the “big boys,” I am just as persistent - and I hope, more convincing.
Let me tell you about one of “my fights” this session and you will see why no one will knock me off my soap box:
There are many types of senior exploitation and elder abuse. Normally we think of scams and theft; people trying to fandangle seniors out of their life savings.
Those are the ones that make the papers but let’s talk about the elder victims that are in the shadows - the ones we don’t usually see.
I know firsthand how very hard it is being a caregiver for an aging parent. I took care of both of mine for several years until they passed in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
However many seniors don’t have loved ones or family to look after them. Most of these people end up alone or in a care facility where they become just a number, or worse - with a caregiver to whom they just represent a pay check.
Many of these elderly souls are neglected, abused and exploited in ways we would never treat an animal.
Part of the problem is that a large percentage of abuse of seniors goes unreported. Many times, because the senior might have dementia or other health problems, their credibility is suspect.Isolation and physical abuse also goes unreported due to embarrassment or fear of loss of family - especially if the abuser is a family member.
There is a bill (Senate Bill 22) I am following and the Vegas Voice PAC will be supporting that will make many of the abuses against the elderly much more severe.
I will be back in Carson City this year with more “troops” this time attempting to look out for our fellow senior and veterans citizens as well as supporting the bill. I am asking you, our readers to help me.
Our publisher Dan doesn’t think our readers really care or follow the legislation. I say when it comes to seniors and bills like this he is WRONG! What say YOU?
How about dropping him (or me) an e-mail and let him know how you feel about this? My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In next month’s column I am going to add a sign up petition to show our elected officials that we collectively do have a voice and want to end all forms of elder exploitation. I will also have updates on our new Vegas Voice website (www.thevegasvoice.net).
In the interim, if you have any interest in any bill or have questions, wish to get involved (in any way) or simply have a thought or comment, please do not hesitate to contact me.