Senior Life

Jennifer Meagher RN is the owner of Senior Life LLC, Advocates and  Consultants. Meagher founded and oversees the Better Business Partners  Serving Seniors. She is on the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Committee and has specialized in geriatrics since 1998. She is called on by doctors, attorneys,  and financial advisors to care for their clients and their families. Contact Jennifer  at

Dear Jennifer, 

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m writing a letter about a problem in my family. That’s how upset I am. My brother is stealing money from Momma. I call it stealing anyway. He yells and screams at her until she writes him a check. He storms out to cash it and she calls me crying. I’ve begged her to come live with me, but she won’t. She says she needs to take care of my brother who is nothing more than a free loader. He lives at her house for free. She feeds him. She lets him drive her car. He doesn’t even cut the lawn – she pays someone else. He buys groceries, but mostly what he wants and not healthy food for her. I’ve tried talking to him, but he screams at me too and I won’t take it. I love my mother. I don’t know what to do. (Note to my readers: this note was 2 pages; I have cut it down to this - Jennifer.) 


Dear Barbara, 

Your brother is abusing your mom by screaming at her. You need to call Adult Protective or Elder Abuse. They will sort through it all. They will not share that it was you who called. Please call them today. Let me know how this works out. 



Readers: I sent the above letter by email back to Barbara. Her response is below. 

Dear Jennifer, 

I am not calling the authorities on my own family. Besides, my brother and mother will know it was me who did it. Are you crazy? That was terrible advice. I always thought you gave good advice until now. I’m not doing it. 


Dear Barbara and Readers, 

Screaming is different than being mad. If someone is screaming, that person is out of control. When the screaming is aimed at a defenseless person, it is abuse. When an elder reports being afraid or anxious about a caregiver, we must listen and act on it. A good start point is the doctor’s office to ensure the accusation is not paranoia or delusion. If we have witnessed the screaming /abuse and the screaming is repetitive with the person unwilling to get help or listen to reason, we must protect the defenseless person. Keep reading. 




If you are in the middle of family conflict, you must take a deep breath, try to close down your emotions a bit to think through the following items.  

1. Is the family member(s) acting out of concern for the elder? 

If the answer is yes: 

In these cases, there is a conflict of opinion between family members about what should be done. 

Do some soul searching: are you mad at the other family members in general? Do you get mad just thinking 

about the person even when there isn’t a new situation causing your anger? If so, you are bringing your battle 

into your elder’s home, making that the battle ground. I recommend a non-biased mediator for these situations. 

2. Is the family member(s) reaping personal reward? 

If the answer is yes: 

Is the personal reward considerably beyond normal gifting from the elder? 

Is the personal reward hindering the elder’s care or ability to pay for care? 

Is it possible you are angry because you are jealous and inflating the situation? 

3. Is the elder suffering from the poor behavior of a family member(s)? 

4. Is the elder unable to speak for his/her self? 

If the answer is yes: 

What is the elder saying about the situation? 

Is the elder frightened or concerned about the person, either verbally or non-verbally? 

5. Is there measurable harm to the elder in direct relationship to the behavior of the family member(s)? 


Bruising or other injury 

Decreased finances to pay for the daily needs of the elder. 

Interference with food or medications for the elder. 

Neglect. This word is a bit tricky to discern. 

6. If you have read this through and feel you have a case for abuse, you must call one of the following, they will keep your name confidential: 

Adult Protective Services 585-753-6532

Elder Abuse Protective Program    585-244-8400

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By John Sproul


The 1981 movie "Chariots of Fire" was about which sport?

A. Automobile racing

B. Bobsledding

C. Running

D. Horse racing

The correct answer is C.

"Chariots of Fire" tells the true story of two British track athletes who competed in the 1924 summer Olympics. After a one and a half century absence, the Olympic games were revived in 1896 by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin. These are referred to as the modern Olympics, and the original ones from 776BC to 393AD (every four years, in Olympia, Greece each time) as the ancient Olympics. The 1924 games were held in Paris, France, with 44 nations participating. The title for this movie at first stumped screenplay writer Colin Welland, with the uninspired title "Runners" at first winning by default. Then he watched a BBC television show on religious music, which included the hymn "Jerusalem" (which included the words "Bring me my chariot of fire"). Welland jumped up and shouted to his wife, "I've got it, Pat! 'Chariots of Fire'!"