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November 19, 1993 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-19

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7 50



5 KISLEV 5754/NOVEMBER 19, 1993

Abuse Of Elderly Often Hidden


hen Dr. Sarah
Gelberd suspects
that one of her el-
derly patients is a
victim of abuse, she
does the obvious.
She asks.
"Oddly, if you in-
quire, you can come
up with a lot of information," she said.
"The elderly are relieved about hav-
ing it acknowledged. When I've asked
people whether they've been shoved
or hit, they'll respond, 'How did you
know?' "
Dr. Gelberd, director of Sinai
Hospital's Senior Assessment Clinic,
was one of several speakers at a
Sinai-sponsored conference titled,
"From the Nursery To the Nursing
Home: Domestic Violence."
Held Nov. 10 at the Grand Manor
at Fairlane in Dearborn, the confer-
ence aimed to educate medical
professionals about handling patients
whom they suspect are being abused.
Joanna Copes, a clinical nurse spe-
cialist at Sinai, said some doctors ig-
nore indications of abuse. But new
laws make that illegal. Physicians


Detroit doctors talk about
what brings people together,
and how to stay that way.

omance is big business
and marriage is back in
Singles advertisements
fill newspapers and seminar
speakers are commanding big
However, once people get to-
gether, they still face the prob-
lems of staying together.
Local psychologists are
studying what keeps couples
satisfied and giving practical
suggestions for the rocky road.

must report all cases of abuse or sus-
pected abuse to the Department of
Social Services.
"Some doctors believe that if the
patient's (malady) can't be fixed with
medicine, they don't want to deal with
it. They don't know how," she said.
The abuse may fall into different
categories, including physical, men-
tal or financial abuse.
"Generally, the caregivers just can't
cope," Dr. Gelberd said. "Certainly
there are some that are malicious, but
many feel guilty when they just
can't do it all. Caregivers need to
know their limits. They
need to seek help."
During last week's
conference, Dr. Gelberd
outlined some warning
signs for doctors. The
signs include severe
malnutrition and si-
multaneous evidence of
fresh and healing
"Difficulty in ambu-
lation can be a sugges-
tion of sexual abuse.
Sometimes abused

Dr. Sarah Gelberd

Defending Oneself
In A Jewish Way



uesday evening at the
Jewish Community Center
in Oak Park, John Zilli held
Matt Weiner in a headlock.
No one stopped him.
Mr. Zilli was teaching Matt, and

other junior high and high school stu-
dents and their parents, self-defense.
A Jewish Experiences For Families
(JEFF) program, co-sponsored by
Congregation Beth Shalom, the
Jewish Community Center and

patients will flinch if you touch them,"
Dr. Gelberd said.
It is important for doctors to talk
to caregivers and patients separate-
ly. Doctors should sensitize them-
selves to the caregiver's stress level.
Sometimes burned out caregivers,
weary of delivering around-the- clock
care, take their frustrations out on
the elderly person.
"Ask patients if there's substance
abuse in the family. And how are they
treated when they're alone," she
Some elderly do not want to admit
that they have been
abused — especially if
their caregivers are rel-
atives. Dr. Gelberd
once had a 96-year-old
female patient who
was being abused by.
her 70-year-old son.
'When I discussed
it with her, she said,
`Oh, but he's such a
good boy.' " Dr. Gelberd.
said. "Elder abuse was
really ignored for such
a long time." ❑

Temple Emanu-El, Chazach Ve'ematz
— Be Strong, Be Courageous — gave
parents and teens the opportunity to
learn about self-esteem, Jewish iden-
tity, assertiveness, mitzvot and self-
defense. Beth Shalom congregants
Paul and Sharon Levine developed
the idea and brought it to the com-
munity with the help ofJCCenter as-
sociate Doris Blechman and JEFF.
"We wanted to do something for
teens and their parents," Ms. Levine
said. "Often we think teens don't want



A special section for
the holidays.


A sampling of views from
high school students.

Page 92

Story on page 48

Raya Goldenberg practices with her daughter, Tamar Gontovnik.

Contents on page 3

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