If the world were perfect, elderly people would be treated with reverence and respect. But far too often, senior citizens become the victims of scams – like the recent influx of ones committed at Walmart locations – or abuse. When families put their trust in nursing homes and other facilities, they hope that the caretakers there show the level of respect family members would if grandma or grandpa lived at home. But far too often, nursing homes are exposed to horribly abusive conditions.
But sometimes the families themselves prove to be terrible environments for elderly people. And when neighbors learned that one family had chained the grandmother to a door because she was dealing with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, they had no choice but to call the police and report the issue to the proper authorities.
The 83-year-old woman, who suffers from dementia, was found chained to a doorway inside a home in Chachoengsao, Thailand. Only referred to as Grandma Chuam, the senior citizens were seen locked to the door with a shackle on her ankle. Her step-sister was the person who perpetrated the abuse on the old woman because she was afraid the lovely Grandma Chuam would wander off and get lost if she was not chained down like a dog.
The abusive stepsister asked a neighbor to check on Grandma Chuam. That’s when the Good Samaritan found the elderly woman chained to the door, struggling to free herself from the rusty chain that kept digging into her leg.
Thankfully, Chang Neung, the neighbor did the right thing. The neighbor grabbed a circular saw to help free the old woman from being a prisoner in her house. And when she was cut loose, Grandma Chuam is seen bleeding from her leg because the rusty shackle had broken the frail skin on her leg.
Authorities quickly arrived. They questioned Chuam and her 65-year-old stepsister, Wimol. With police breathing down her neck, Wimol explained that she chained the old woman out of worry for her safety.
Chuam had no one else to care for her. So when she started suffering from dementia, Wimol took her in.
Wimol only locked Grandma Chuam to the door because her Alzheimer’s symptoms had gotten much worse. She had wandered away from home before and could easily get hurt. Wimol did not want to lock her up but needed to because she had no other way to keep Chuam from hurting herself while she was out doing her necessary errands.
For example, Chuam was found wandering alone in a rice field during a dangerous storm. That was the last straw.
Authorities treated the malnourished Chuam with food and medical supplies. And they vowed to help Wimol monitor her.
District chief Thitirat Sangngam said, “This is a sad situation for Grandma Chuam, and we will provide assistance. The local government funds can be used to secure the house to prevent the lady from walking away and putting herself at risk. Staff and volunteers will continue to ensure she is safe.”
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