Older adults, primarily victimized by their adult children or grandchildren and often frail with some kind of cognitive impairment, can make terrible witnesses. It’s those same factors that make them such vulnerable prey.
Elder abuse victims often enter the shelter in crisis, with just the clothes on their back, no money and no access to their financial information. Some become long-term residents, finding friendship, romance, love; some are reunited with family members lost after years of isolation and abuse. They are safe here, and seen.
Since those early days of navigating broken systems and trying to fix giant problems with tiny Band-Aids, I have found a different way to respond to elder abuse. I am in solution mode, not wading in exasperation; that could have shattered me.