WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY
Every year on June 15th, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day alerts others of the prevalence and horrors of elder abuse. It’s also a day to educate the public on knowing the signs of elder abuse and how to stop it.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six people 60 years and older experience abuse each year. Seniors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are at greater risk of elder abuse. This type of abuse is widespread around the world. However, elder abuse cases are the least investigated types of violence. This means that many perpetrators get away with abusing the elderly.
Types of Elder Abuse
- Physical – the use of physical force that results in bodily injury
- Sexual – nonconsensual sexual contact
- Emotional – infliction of pain or anguish through verbal or non-verbal attacks
- Financial Exploitation – illegal or improper use of funds or assets
- Neglect – failure to fulfill the obligations of caring for someone
Abandonment is also a type of elderly abuse. This occurs when a person who is responsible for the care of an elderly person deserts them. In most cases, elder abuse results in psychological damage for the victim. It can also lead to physical injuries and long-term health issues.
The signs of elder abuse include mysterious cuts or bruises, malnourishment, poor hygiene, loss of money, and withdrawal from family members or friends. Seniors who are being abused might also have psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or confusion.
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of elder abuse, it’s important to tell someone you trust. This could be your doctor, a friend, or a family member. Also, report the situation to the proper authorities, such as the nursing home staff. If the elder is in immediate danger, call the police or 911.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldElderAbuseAwarenessDay
Many organizations that advocate for the elderly hold special events to spread awareness for elder abuse. Your community and others around the globe also participate in events. These organizations also disseminate information on the prevention of elder abuse. The best way for you to participate in this day is to learn the signs of elder abuse so that you can better protect your aging loved ones. You can also donate to an organization that advocates for the elderly. These organizations include:
- The AARP Foundation
- American Health Care Association
- Justice in Aging
- National Council on Aging
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
You could also volunteer at a nursing home or get to know some of the seniors in your community. When seniors know someone is looking out for them, there is a reduced chance they will be the victim of elder abuse. Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldElderAbuseAwarenessDay or #WEAAD
WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
In June of 2006, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) established World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On December 19, 2011, at the request of INPEA, the United Nations adopted a resolution for the important day. Since June 15th, 2012 WEAAD has been held as an official UN observance.