Life Advice



Ask Amy: Neighbors overhear verbal elder abuse

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Your county or town should have an affiliated agency that handles cases such as you describe. Please call and report exactly what you know. A social worker will follow up.

The elderly caregiver in this situation is no doubt very stressed. Her father might be hard of hearing (which might necessitate that she raise her voice). But no amount of stress or deafness justifies disrespect and verbal abuse.

You are witnesses to this abuse, and you must make the call. A case worker will assess the situation, and if they need more help or respite care, they might be able to receive it.

An internet search will reveal the APS office closest to you.

Dear Amy: I’m so sad. My husband says he doesn’t want to be in our marriage anymore. He states that my mood and ways of reacting to situations are not what he expected. We’ve been married for 22 years now and lately he can’t seem to tolerate me.

He had a rough childhood and thinks that he might die young. He says he doesn’t want to spend whatever time he has left with me.


I’m so very hurt. I always thought I would grow old with him. I thought we would have many adventures together.

I find it hard to sleep and eat. Do you have any advice for me?

– Sad Soul

Dear Sad: I’m so sorry you are going through this. Please, if at all possible, find a counselor to talk to. If your husband refuses, go to sessions on your own. Also, talk to your most compassionate and understanding friend or family member.


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