Ruth has lived quite life, one full of its ups and downs. She is quick to point out that she has learned to see good in everything. That is until subject of ‘that horrible lady’ comes up.
Ruth is matriarch of a dear and loving family, though she doesn’t see them as often as she would like.
“Since children moved from Parma to start their own lives, it’s hard. They are so busy …”
Ruth was primary care provider for her husband Henry until he passed away in 1997. Ruth has spent most of her life as a care provider, always giving. She was eldest of five children, ‘… in those days, it was expected that daughters help with younger ones and with household chores…’ she reminisced with me as we leafed through family photo album.
Ruth is 87 years old this year and has been living alone since 1997. She is in good health, however daily chores around home were becoming increasingly difficult. She decided to hire help. Ruth turned to her church bulletin and found a ‘Home Care Company’ advertised.
“The ad was in church bulletin, I assumed this was a good company,” her voice cracking from pain and embarrassment this service eventually caused her.
Ruth is not alone in fact that she is widowed and lives alone. According to ‘2002 A Profile of Older Americans’ published by Administration on Aging (http://www.aoa.gov/aoa/stats/profile/4.html) 41% of women age 65 and over, are widowed and live alone.
Unfortunately, Ruth is also not alone in fact that she became victim to fraud. According to U.S. Senator Larry Craig, ranking member of U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, ‘Vulnerable elders are being abused, neglected and exploited within their own homes and communities at an a alarming rate.’