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Elder Abuse

November 27th, 2018 No comments

Elder Abuse

While riding a city bus in Geneva, Switzerland, I was fascinated by a video clip with the Helpline for people experiencing domestic violence. What caught my attention was the message of an older woman saying, “Since my husband has retired, he controls everything I do. I’ve had enough.”

There are many types of violence, and older persons are often abused physically, psychologically, sexually, and financially. This includes neglect, violation of rights, denial of privacy, and denial to participate in making decision.

Keeping in mind that throughout the world, 1 million people reach the age of 60 years every month, there is real concern that mistreatment of elders will increase.

So, what can you do?

  • Become aware of what mistreatment of older people means so you can recognize it.
  • Download this report from the United Nations to learn how to recognize abuse and what to do about it..
  • Know your rights and seek help if you, or someone around you is being abused.
  • Find out what services are available in your community to help prevent further violence and mistreatment. Speak to your healthcare professional, church leader, social services, Helpline, elder abuse prevention center.
  • Remember to practice the techniques and concepts of AgeEsteem. The more confident and happier you are as you age, the greater your sense of self-worth and your expectation of being treated with respect and dignity.

No one should have to experience violence, abuse or mistreatment, at any age.

Bonnie Fatio

 

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

September 9th, 2018 Comments off

 

What memories do you have of your grandparents? Were they present in your life?

When my sister googled one of the homes we lived in as children, she discovered that it was for sale, and there were photos showing each room. One of our common memories was having the grandparents come for Christmas one year, which was exceptional.  We rarely saw them more than once a year, when we visited them in the summer. So, having them with us for the holidays was truly special.

Our other grandparents lived close enough for us to travel to spend Thanksgiving in their home. I still can smell turkey and mince pie and feel the warmth and excitement of being with the other cousins for the day. We did not have mobile phones and i-pads back then with apps allowing us to see each other despite the distance, and these gatherings were precious to us.

Grandparents are important. They are the foundation of the larger family, and often the glue that holds it together. Today Grandparents around the globe are caring for and often raising their grandchildren due to the parent’s illness, busy career, and lack of funds for daycare as well as divorces where a single parent must do all.

In a poll of children answering questions about their grandparents, I learned that grandparents are seen to also be good listeners and less judgmental. We tend to be more available to our grandchildren when we are with them. Our love and interest in our grandchildren differ from that of a parent and adds a valuable dimension to the emotional and intellectual education of our grandchildren.

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

Bonnie Fatio

World Refugee Day

June 20th, 2018 Comments off

World Refugee Day

Had I been born in another part of the world, I might be among the refugees of my age struggling to walk their way to freedom.

I am fortunate. I know where I will sleep tonight; that I can walk into the local neighborhood, wave to people I know, and to feel safe. No one has forced me from my home, violated me, or made it impossible to remain in my country without fear of injury or death. No, I am not one of the 68 million refugees or internally displaced people in the world today as a result of conflict or persecution. Many of them are my age, if not when they begin their journey they may be by the time they are able to return to their countries.

From 1998 to 2001 I was privileged to be part of a team of local leaders in Geneva, Switzerland brought together by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It opened my eyes to what it meant to seek refuge.

  • Most refugees want only to return to their homes. They have been forced to leave and dream of the moment when they can return. You’ve only to witness news reports of the risks they have taken and the hundreds of miles they have walked to know that they had no choice if they were to survive.
  • Many refugees have been born and raised in refugee camps waiting to enter into a safe country. The average length of displacement today is 17 years. Recently I mentored a woman who had spent her whole life in a refugee camp.
  • Many of the people we think of as the heroes of science, exploration, humanity and education in our own countries came to our countries as refugees. Geneva, Switzerland where I live, developed into the world renowned city of Global Peace Talks and the United Nations organizations largely thanks to the arrival of refugees over the centuries.

Let’s stand together with refugees and also recognize that had we been born in another part of the world we might be among them, or left behind to die.

Bonnie Fatio

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th, 2018 Comments off

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse is a problem that often goes undefined. Frankly, I found it frightening to read the signs of abuse shared by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. Why? Because they seem to also fit the stereotype of an older person, the image that has been fed to us over the years.

The list includes traits such as seeming confused; rocking back and forth; looks messy; and has trouble sleeping. All of these seem to fit stereotypes of aging, yet they can also be serious warning signs that something is wrong. Add to this any bruises or burns that cannot be explained, and you know you must act. However, not all abuse is physical. It can also be emotional, financial, or being neglected.

Let’s open our eyes to some of the elders around us who act oddly and who may very well be abused and need help. Try to have a private conversation with the elder to learn what is happening. If there is abuse, then guide them to where they can receive the proper assistance. This may be through an adult protective service, or a social service agency.

Are you being abused? Speak to your doctor, a help line, or a trusted friend to find help. Each of us deserves to live our age with dignity.

Bonnie Fatio

Happy Easter

April 1st, 2018 Comments off

Happy Easter

May the hope and love of Easter be with you throughout the year.

Happy International Women’s Day 2017!

March 8th, 2017 Comments off

Happy International Women’s Day !

On this day of celebration and hope, I look back on our grandmothers and great-grandmothers who blazed a trail for us, each in their own way.

My maternal grandmother, shown sitting in this photo, was petite, beautiful, and strong. She was a perfect wife and mother of the times, and also a sought-after speaker with inspiring messages. I can still feel her love and hear her tinkling laughter; and oh how we loved to hear the stories she created for our childhood imaginations.

She was among the women who have shaped our world.

Bonnie Fatio

My 2017 Age Esteem Wishes For You

December 30th, 2016 Comments off

happy-new-year

My 2017 Age Esteem Wishes For You  

  1. Live each day fully.
  2. Stretch your body, mind and spirit.
  3. Inhale happiness and love; exhale pain and fear.
  4. Embrace new experiences.
  5. Fill your mind with love and happy thoughts.
  6. Build play into your day.
  7. Share your talents with others of all ages.
  8. Learn something new each day.
  9. Laugh often.
  10. Celebrate frequently.
  11. Love yourself unconditionally.
  12. Seek the positive in each person and experience.
  13. Give thanks for the blessings of your life.
  14. Meet new challenges with a sense of adventure.
  15. Greet each new day with anticipation and zest.
  16. Reach out to others in need.
  17. Become a living model of Age Esteem for those who meet you!

 With love and gratitude for all you have done, the person you are, and all that you are becoming,

Bonnie Fatio

A Time To Remember

October 30th, 2016 Comments off

Version 2Four of the women who have influenced my life.

A Time To Remember

“We stand on the shoulders of those who go before us.” Kenyan Proverb

In many parts of the world a day set aside each year to remember those who have died, those who have gone before us. All Saints Day, following Halloween is one such a day. It is a time to remember those who have positively influenced our lives, whether or not they were people we knew personally.

Each person leaves a legacy. And no matter how great or small their imprint may seem to the masses, to a chosen few that imprint has been inspirational.

When I think of my own mother I am overwhelmed by the richness of all she taught me through her actions and her words. She has not been written up in history books, yet she positively influenced the lives of a multitude of youth as a teacher, and families through her church work. Her outreach increased even further when she authored seven books after taking early retirement due to diminished vision. (Yes, she wrote her books typing on an old state-of-the-art Smith-Corona despite severely impaired vision.)

You, too, have people in your life who may seem insignificant to the world at large, but who have been important to your growth into the person you have become. Take a moment to remember each of these people and to be thankful.

People with age-esteem are grateful for those who have influenced their lives.

Bonnie Fatio

Grandparents Day 2016

September 11th, 2016 Comments off

grandparents-day

For Grandparents

…And All Who Love Children

 How many times had I voiced the opinion that Grandparents greatly exaggerated their descriptions of their grandchildren? No child could be so cute or so intelligent or so clever as the one they describe.

Well, I began to eat those words nine years ago. Certainly I became more sympathetic towards those wonderful people. You see, I was also about to join that exclusive club of grandparenting. At the time friends must have been saying, “If she is like this before the child is born, what will she be like later when the baby is here?” Actually, I asked myself the same question as I chatted about the grandchild to be.

Knowing what a low tolerance level I had towards doting grandparents before knowing that I would be one, I have decided to make up for it and write a daily blog during this month of Grandparents Day. It is for Age-Esteemers who are grandparents and those who love being surrogate grandparents. Many of the blogs were written when our first grandchild was born. I will publish them as written at the time.

Bonnie Fatio

1st International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

June 19th, 2016 Comments off

UN

Today marks the First International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 19, 2016.

Sexual violence in conflict touches all ages and damages lives for ever. Yet rape and sexual violence have only recently been recognised as a war crime and a crime against humanity. Join me in recognising the importance of this day.

Bonnie Fatio