It Can be Hard to Ask for Help …

You might not want to ask for help because you feel:

That you have nowhere else to go. But you have other options. There are many community resources that can help you find a safe living arrangement. Some of these community resources will even help you stay in your home. You do not have to live in an abusive situation.

That you are all alone and no one cares about you. But you are not alone. Family, friends, co-workers, community members, doctors, and spiritual advisors can help you. Everyone needs help at some point.

That they didn’t mean it, and they promise to change. But even if they promise to change, the abuse will not end unless someone does something to stop it. Many older people are abused by their adult children or caregivers. It can be really confusing when the person who is hurting you is someone you love, or someone who is supposed to be caring for you.

That the abuse is your fault or you deserve it. But everyone makes their own choices. You are not to blame for the abuser’s behavior. Many older people who are being mistreated by their adult children feel like they can’t speak up. They might not want to get their child in trouble, or might feel somehow responsible. But, abuse isn’t healthy for anyone. Not for you or the abuser, or anyone else.

That you are old and worthless. But you are an important human being. You have a lifetime of knowledge and experience to share. Being older does not mean that you are deserving of less.

Remember: You have the right to live a life free from abuse. You are not alone, the abuse is not your fault, and you deserve better. You can do something to end the abuse.

If you are ready to end the abuse, you need to talk to someone. You need to ask for help. There are people who are ready to help you. You can find those people in the “How to Ask for Help” section.

If you are not quite ready to ask for help, but you want to do something to make your life safer, read the next section called “Things You Can Do to Make Your Life Safer.”