My Barista, My Hero
YESTERDAY AS I WAS GETTING SOME TEA at St. Arbucks I was told an interesting and true story.
Don’t expect a lot of laughs today.
My Barista said that something upsetting had happened to her the evening before.
She was at home getting ready to go out. When she walked to her car, behind her house, she was startled when a voice called out to her.
“I’m over here. Help me. I’m over here.”
It was a woman’s voice and nearby, but there was no one in sight. As The Barista got to her car she heard the voice again.
“I’m down here.”
Walking around her car, toward where she thought the voice was coming; The Barista saw an arm sticking out from under her car.
There was a woman trapped beneath her car.
The Barista took the woman’s hand and helped her to her feet. She recognized the woman as her neighbor, an elderly woman who lived next door with her adult son. Her legs were bruised and bleeding, but she refused when The Barista wanted to call 911 to summon the Paramedics.
When The Barista asked how she came to be under the car the woman said that she had come outside and fallen. She crawled over to The Barista’s car, figuring that she could use the handle on the door to help her get back on her feet. What she didn’t know was that the car was unlocked. When she tried to pull herself up, the car door opened and she slid under the car and became trapped, unable to free herself.
It was dark and the temperature was in the 40 degree range.
The Barista helped the woman back to her home. The son was not home, but would be soon, she was told.
The next day The Barista went over to the neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. The son answered, but did not invite The Barista inside. He said that his mother was fine – and then closed the door.
When The Barista told me about her effort to check on the elderly woman she had rescued my alarm bells went off.
Elder Abuse has become an issue as parents are living longer and adult children move back home for a number of reasons.
Abuse can show up as something physical, emotional, financial or, in many cases, as neglect.
The State of Indiana has taken steps to protect those who are often unable to care for and protect themselves.
ALL PERSONS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO REPORT ALL CASES OF SUSPECTED ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION TO EITHER THE NEAREST ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES OFFICE OR TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.
To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Indiana: the number to call (toll free) is 1-800-992-6978 (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home and in long-term care facilities).
I have given this information to The Barista and urged her to call.
No matter where you live I also urge you to find out where you can call if you suspect that someone may need help.
I would rather make that call and be proven wrong than to ignore what I see and have someone suffer.