Just a thought. What is elder abuse? We often think of the term applying only to those highly dependent on others in advanced stages of aging, often facing visible neglect, physical or emotional. But elder abuse is more than that. Where does it start, when is it happening, and how do you recognize it? What happens when – in a dangerous world – it gets asked about a president?
Loss of cognitive ability – let alone manipulation of those losing it – can be subtle, for example seeking outcomes favorable to the manipulators without consideration for the person being manipulated, forcing undue exposure to stress, difficult settings, creating setups for stumbling.
Concretely, an aging spouse, care assistor, or professional colleague can become a source of overdependence, opening the door to subtle manipulation. Often aging sports and movie stars are put in public settings, compelled to speak or perform while fading – with detriment to all.
Likewise, a fading light can be propped up, spoken for, repeatedly nudged, corrected, or protected until seemingly unable to manage him or herself in public, covered to a point of embarrassment with mood swings, missed cues, errors explained, until at last assistance, it is a charade not caring.
How do you know when that is what you are seeing? How does anyone articulate the hard-to-express or give voice to a fading light hoping to minimize distress, leaning, losing ground, looking around for what is not there, support from the wings, and more and more things?
These are tough questions on the personal front, the sort that cause caring hearts to intercede, assuring risks are avoided, difficult events less frequently attended, embarrassment minimized, and mental, physical, emotional – in some cases personal or political – errors are avoided.
Just as those losing bits of memory from a stroke or age keep lists, those who must speak in public while gradually losing cogency also keep lists, trying to assure things are written out for them, working not to miss cues, words, place, or pace, covering for loss of cadence and cognition.
Only the thing can still become painful to watch or visibly hard to see happening. The question again arises – how much is too much? When mood swings become regular not intermittent, and when public expectations change from crispness to worry over the next gaff, things get edgy.
Is it elder abuse – on the part of an ambitious spouse, personal or professional handlers, colleagues who do not want to see or admit progressive decline, who think one more exposure is alright as long as the fading mind is not left one-on-one with the wrong person, errors corrected?
In normal times, normal surroundings, normal people in normal settings tolerate what they can –as much as basic goodness and collective conscience within a family will allow, hoping for the best, leaning toward interaction over isolation, and indulging the loss for a larger purpose.
But for what it is worth, the stakes get higher in abnormal times, surroundings, and settings, where those managing the situation have a lot to gain from keeping the exposure up, even if it causes the afflicted party to become the object of derision and growing embarrassment.
Famously, more than one Supreme Court justice has asked colleagues to alert him if he seems to be slipping. Famously more than one US Senator has resigned, retired, or gone reclusive when mental capacities trigger public comment and concern, and move toward condemnation and ridicule.
All this is less relevant – questions about when to pull chalks, call it a day, avoid public exposure, conjecture about capacity, stress, mood swings, and elder abuse – when the setting is family and friends, where stakes are minimal, risks manageable, and the impact of face-to-face error small.
But, for the record, that is not the case when the object of increasing conjecture, pressure, fumbles, stumbles, stress, missed cues, lost orientation, vocabulary, syntax, awkward pauses, appropriateness of the behavior – and stakes surrounding mistakes – involve a president.
Whether or not a time is coming when conscience, concern, and basic decency should lead to a rethink about Mr. Biden’s evolving mental acuity – and what should be done – is one thing. Conscience should always override political considerations, opportunism, and inconvenience.
The larger question, however, is what happens to a nation that permits its chief executive to fade publicly, vigor sliding, cues missed, words, moods, and context slipping, in a highly dangerous world? Is there a time in the White House, Congress, or public, when tough questions must be answered? That is the tough question – before elder abuse – that now needs thought.
More broadly, world crises often result from insufficient anticipation and forethought, avoiding hard questions, imagining adversaries are friends, or that they will not do what they threaten. The US is on notice – from China’s aggressive Communist Congress last seek to Russia’s aggression, from Iran’s aggressive intentions to North Korea’s launches. We are bobbling options for deterrence with regularity. This might be a good time to ask tough questions … Just a thought.
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Biden and the Dems have no shame. Biden is so incredibly stupid, narcissistic, lying, immature (think ice cream and saying everything is okay) and lacking in inner values he is ripe for manipulation even before becoming senile. Because he has no self awareness I believe he wouldn’t believe anyone telling him he is not capable or great anyway.
A few observations. One, Democrats have no conscience. They killed it long ago. Two, Biden deserves all he gets. He is full of hubris and believes that he is better than everyone else. Three, although your article is very well written, 40% of the American public will say you are mean and nasty and that Uncle Joe is doing fine. It is a sad thing that so many Americans are completely delusional.
Biden may stay until he falls over so that there will never be charges against his son. (If there were, he would pardon him. In all likelihood, Biden will die making Hunter finally stand alone.
The continuing administration of President Joe Biden is a clear and present danger to the national security of these United States. To address the current situation and prevent future instances, Congress should write laws requiring the President and Cabinet Officers must pass bi-annual cognitive testing.
Having read a lot of studies on elder abuse, I believe our President is a victim. I have a hard time figuring out if his wife is also being manipulated by Biden’s handlers, or if she is guilty of spousal abuse In order to keep her own coveted spot as FLOTUS. In either case, it is disturbing and sad at the same time. But the consequences of ushering him off stage presents an even scarier national dilemma.Ka-haha-Mala would be really frightening.
The people that set Biden up for this abject failure are guilty of elder abuse & probably, Treason. He was the only candidate they could get elected because the rest were so bizarre they could not be elected. they sold this character on completely obscure credentials–like none. There was no way he could succeed.
Or worse, piglosi
This ‘might not be the time’ to ask these tough questions, Mr. Charles. It’s WAAAAAY PAST time, to ask the questions and take action to make this ’empty suit, shadow of his former self’ so-called president step down… or impeach him for stupid statements, lies, etc. He NEVER accomplished anything positive in all his decades in government… and now, his adult-diapered butt is just taking space. I would be the last person to make fun of a senior with cognitive disfunction… but he should not be pretending to be the leader of the free world. He needs to be fed chicken soup, his butt wiped by a nurse, and tucked into bed by an aide.
This MAY be elder abuse… but it is POPULATION (American citizen) abuse. This whole situation is shameful, embarassing and dangerous to America. WHEN are we going to do something about it??? Right after we take the Senate and House again, we hope.
randon is a GOTD ‘president’ — Gaffe of the Day — St. Pierre is like a wind-up kewpie doll, and his minions are total idiots. ‘Dr. Jill’ should be ashamed.
Biden is in bad mental and physical health but so is the California Senator, Diane Feinstein. She is still a senator. We, the people, have a lot to correct if the USA is to remain the leader of the world.
He was chosen for his mental state a perfect puppet candidate
Have said many times. FIL has frontal lobe dementia. His behaviors are identical to Joe’s. Fact: if we treated FIL the way joe is treated, we would be arrested and put in jail. Elder abuse advocates have 100% dropped the ball on the WH debacle. Sets a terrible example for all who are watching and have someone with dementia.
Well at least someone at AMAC finally got around to acknowledging the obvious elephant in the room after Biden’s 21 months on the job and for all of his time during the 2020 campaign: Biden’s obvious and now worsening signs of dementia. I suppose that’s something, but honestly it’s a little bit too late. The time to actively speak up and raise the alarm at the prospect of a mentally incompetent person being potentially handed control of the United States was BEFORE he was elected. Not neary 2 years into the job.
Think about all the man-made disasters and destruction that this administration has created over the last 21 months. All of which could have been completely avoided, if more conservative organizations had simply had the courage to speak up boldly and publicly BEFORE the election and state the obvious about Biden’s mentally unfit nature to lead anything. Much less the United States of America. Political correctness and the fear of the power of the administrative state, which is overwhelmingly controlled by the Democrats, does entail costs. We are living through those costs right now.
You end your article with a call to say maybe it’s time to ask tough questions. It’s actually been well past time to ask questions about Biden’s mental fitness to hold office for a few years now. The time for AMAC and other conservative organizations to publicly speak up and demand answers to those very tough questions were actually back in 2019 and 2020. When candidate Biden was campaigning, if you can even call it that, and showing ALL the signs of mental illness that he exhibits today. Back then, as just a candidate for POTUS and he would have been far easier to stop from inflicting damage on this country. Now with his and his team’s hands firmly on all the levers of power in the executive branch of the federal government, preventing him from continuing to do great damage to this nation is much, much harder. Just a thought.
We have over 2 more years of this to endure before we have the potential prospect of replacing Biden, or any other Democrat in the White House, with hopefully the Republican that would have never created any of the total mess that the Democrats have unleashed on our country over that last 21 months. Hopefully there will still be some part of our republic left to save by then.
Thanks Paul – Honestly, AMAC was trumpeting this message for months BEFORE the election, has been all over it every month since, and today is just, or I am just, asking the basic question: When does an obvious mental, emotional, and spiritual deficit in an elected leader tip the scales, and become abuse of that leader by opportunistic colleagues and family, to the detriment of the nation? My view is that hard “now what?” question is upon us. That is the gravamen of this piece. We can all admire the problem, but the obvious is becoming elder abuse in a formal, empirical, medical, observable sense – and with stakes high we cannot afford that, even if the alternative is rotten. RBC
OK, so if the actual question is when does the obvious mental state tip the scales, I would say that it should have tipped the scales the moment it became readily apparent on the campaign trail in 2019 and 2020, that Biden was NOT mentally up to the most important job in our federal government. Lets just drop the elder abuse and spiritual aspects for a second and focus on the highly demanding job of being POTUS. It requires the individual to operate in tip-top mental shape 24×7, because the decisions made by the POTUS directly impact the entire country as a whole on an immediate basis. The person must be lucid, cognitively capable of understanding and analyzing all information persented to him and then making rational and sound decisions. I think you would agree that no other political office in our government has such immediate and far-reaching impact depending on how the POTUS decides to act on any given issue. In some cases, you don’t have hours or days to ponder the various courses of action that might or might not yield optimal results. You have to make quick, intelligent decisions that are sound and rational. On that basis alone, Biden WAS NOT anywhere near fit to run or hold the office of the POTUS back then on the campaign trail and certainly not now.
As to the elder abuse and spiritual aspects, well it is pretty obvious from everything Biden has said in numerous friendly interviews with a complicit media that Jill Biden pretty much controls what Joe does. If she tells him to do something, then he blindly does it. Why she decided to subject Joe to a position he obviously can’t handle is for others to decide. However, given the nature of the family, it is not hard to guess what the driving motivation is. From a spiritual perspective, that again is a secondary issue to his mental unfitness to handle the job.
I see my reply to you has been censored by AMAC. This is getting absurd. Nothing in my reply to you was in any way offensive or out of line. It was simply a reply.
Say Paul, no worries at all. I see your reply fully – and have no issues at all, am glad for it, as always! Moreover, I concur. I think we all in the same basic place, those of us who believe in America, more than distressed at the state of national leadership, sense of being unable to conduct a swift “vote of no confidence,” having to watch the ship list further and further, now holding our breath to see how long it takes for the national leadership to wake up, regain perspective, show some courage, and stand up for what the vast majority of this nation believes in – the American Dream, Bill of Rights, free speech, worship, travel, commerce, and freedom from continuing government overreach, overspending, and arrogance. That said, even the Founders warned that keeping the republic would be hard, would take patience, constant dialogue, course corrections, and sometimes high level tension. The tick for us now, is to be the reasoned, seasoned, strong people we are – to know where the horizon is, what moral compass is, and reinforce each other in the battle for every inch, back to what is right, good, honest, accountable, and has historically been “America’s timeless normal” – the sort my family and yours fought for, the sort we know is being battered. Keep the faith, keep your humor, keep your perspective, but also keep writing – and so will I! Best, RBC!
PS – I invite all AMAC members to chime in. We may not amount to the Founding Brothers and Sisters, John and Abagail Adams to Jefferson and Madison, but we are the protectors of the flame, Americans who care, and must care – to keep the future what we know it can but, but may not be – if we do not keep the conversation about liberty alive. Thank you again! Best, RBC
I agree with your’s and other’s comments! As much as I detest Biden’s Executive Orders and et al, the Democratic Party should be charged with Elder Abuse! And that is for starters!
I’m 81 and active, ride 40 to 60 miles on my bicycle a month, I am Vietnam Era Veteran, USAF, and proud of America! Perhaps I should challenge Joe Biden to a bicycle race? A “heart attack or bust race?”
I have Voted early and may the Red Wave wash the evil from America!
I understand what your saying and this is the leader that is taking us down. But I also see how this can go wealthy people as they get older have made trust and then they change the trust and the people in the trust now think your not in your right mind, so they make it so you can’t do anything with your own money because they think your not in your right mind. Interesting
If AMAC is censoring then question who do we believe or listen to.
Debi I agree with you, I had a post delete last week. I am very careful about about my verbiage, as I still speak as a Marine.
When that was done I felt I had lost the fight in a place where I should not have to fight. Because of age and never having been a good speller I reread post twice content, then spelling then again to ensure it can be understood.