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Warning on elder abuse

October 14, 2009

Re "Brooke Astor's son guilty of looting the socialite's estate," Oct. 9

Now that the elder-abuse trial of society grand dame Brooke Astor's son is over, I am left contemplating the lessons demonstrated by her sad and sordid story: Being rich won't protect you from elder abuse; being famous won't protect you from elder abuse; having famous friends won't protect you from elder abuse.

In America, the country that loves youth and beauty, it is not surprising, but still lamentable, that we don't have any comprehensive federal legislation focused on elder abuse. I hope someone in leadership will be stirred to action on this issue (for example, to pass an elder justice act that has languished in Congress for years).

As one of the millions of baby boomers barreling toward old age, I for one would like to know I won't end up isolated and sleeping on a urine-soaked couch.

Laura Mosqueda

Orange

The writer is director of geriatrics at UC Irvine Medical Center.

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