Saturday, January 17, 2009

Elder Abuse

Re: T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

Female-sleuth Kinsey Millhone's elderly neighbor Gus Vronsky is back in his own home after a short stay in the hospital. Gus' niece has hired a private-duty nurse by the name of Solana Rojas. Kinsey stops in to see Gus and is taken aback at Solana's response to her questions about Gus' health. Kinsey decides there is something definitely 'off' about Solana.

Kinsey is right to trust her instincts, as Solana Rojas is the name of a woman whose identity was stolen. The thief is evidently adept at practicing elder abuse and even murder to get what she wants: which is money.

The thief is drugging Gus and while he is sleeping, she searches his home for money, jewelry and assets she can steal. When he claims to see her doing it, she lies and twists the truth to confuse him. The thief is about to give up and quit seeing that Gus has only a few thousand dollars, when a local real estate agent shows up to discuss the value of his property. The realtor admits to the thief that she has a buyer who may offer Gus close to a million dollars for his property. That's when the thief decides to stay with Gus and figure out a way to get this money for herself.

How sad. This book is fiction, but there are many instances of this kind of elder abuse in reality.