News articles from around the country about Elder Abuse and Exploitation

Elder News & Events

Why Elder Abuse is Everyone’s Problem

By: Richard W. Besdine, M.D.

What you’re about to read makes me angry, because it’s a true story. A story of elder abuse.

[In 2010], prosecutors in Seattle charged Christopher Wise with the murder of his mother, Ruby. His crime? Letting her rot to death with eight huge pressure sores, several to the bone, while he played Internet poker and lived off her pension. His excuse? She didn’t want to go to a nursing home or a doctor; he was just respecting her wishes.

Ruby Wise was imprisoned in her bed by immobility, dementia, and isolation. She moaned and cried out for help continuously in the weeks before her death. Neighbors closed their windows and her son put in earplugs to muffle her cries. No one called Adult Protective Services or 911. It’s hard to believe the response would have been the same had the cries come from a child, a younger woman, or a dog.

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