It is unfortunate that many in our society consider the elderly a burden. As a result a large number are left to languish on the streets. The lucky few who make it to the dismal elderly residences available live the remainder of their lives in distress, longing to meet their once loved ones. The people who used to look up to them, respect and value them until their monetary desires were fulfilled can no longer stand being in the same room as them. The false respect that people or dependents used to display when their worldly desires were being fulfilled takes a complete volte-face. After which the elders are segregated and ostracized.Elderly persons with a significant amount of wealth are made wards of insatiable caregivers. It only takes a few seconds in a courtroom to issue an order, where the ward uses their malicious intent and fraudulent doctor’s certificates to gain control over an elderly persons estate.Wards, lawyers and medical practitioners act as accessories and collectively malign and mismanage the day to day affairs of the elderly persons they are charged with and demand exorbitant amounts- in the name of daily costs for their personal expenditure. Meanwhile the live an opulent lifestyle. This is all done by taking advantage of the declining cognitive functions that come with advancing age. The elderly are not provided with their legally enshrined rights, and are considered as a burden as soon as their abilities start to dismantle. This is reprehensible and unethicalUnder the guise of humanitarian paternalism, guardians seem to be creating a kind of capitalist dystopia. Elderly people’s quality of life is being destroyed to maximise their capital. Guardians wear a cloak of good will and act as holy figures. Only to fulfil their personal agenda, which is to make a quick buck.Child abuse, domestic violence and animal welfare are readily discussed and are considered matters of grave concern. Laws have been promulgated to counter the negative notions associated with them. Elder abuse is a construct that is yet to enter public consciousness. The elderly are not provided with their legally enshrined rights, and to consider them as a burden as soon as their abilities start to dismantle is reprehensible and unethical in itself. They are thought of as incapable of testifying in courts, which makes it easier to abuse their rights.As long as public awareness and empathy is not instilled within society, not much can or will be done. Society as a whole should be conscious of the fact that with each passing day, we are all getting closer to the position elders who are being abused find themselves in. Wouldn’t we be better off if our children were raised to respect and value our elders. This is the only way to ensure that we can enjoy peace during the last years of our lives. The writer is a corporate lawyer and an alumnus of SOAS, University of London. He specialises in corporate governance issues and operates a law practice in Lahore called Sami Shah & Partners with offices in Toronto, Canada and Palos Verdes, California, USA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, October 21st 2017.