World elder abuse awareness day – June 15th
World elder abuse awareness day (WEAAD) is observed on 15th June since 2006 every year and June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. It was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations, in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. On this day, we acknowledge and recognize elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a call to action for society’s individuals, organizations, and communities to educate each other on how to identify, address and prevent abuse so we can all do our part to support everyone as we age.
The theme for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021 is “Access to Justice”.
The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was recognized by the United Nations Day by the General Assembly in its Resolution A/RES/66/127 adopted in 2011. This Resolution namely “calls upon Governments to ensure, as appropriate, conditions that enable families and communities to provide care and protection to persons as they age”.
During this time, government agencies and organizations promote local and national events that raise awareness of both the prevalence and signs of elder abuse and the importance of reporting this type of abuse when it is suspected.
WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for our communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders, and reaffirm our country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all. When we come together, we can prevent elder abuse from happening.
We can put support services in place, and direct community resources toward addressing elder abuse. Our country must reaffirm our commitment to justice and create a sturdy structure of support that will benefit us all as we get older.
Support against elder abuse
There are many ways to strengthen our social supports through policies, services, and programs that keep us integrated into our communities as we age.
We can design and equip our community to work as an intergenerational space that allows older people to build relationships and participate in the work, play, and life of our neighborhoods.
We can think about the role of transportation in reducing social isolation and adjust systems so that we can all continue to move throughout our communities as we age.
We can keep finding new and better ways to arrange and coordinate the teams, agencies, and programs that work specifically with older people.
We can develop programs to educate families and professionals who work with older adults to understand the importance of preventing isolation, how to spot the warning signs of abuse, and what to do to address abuse or neglect.
Abuse and neglect can take many forms and is not just limited to physical abuse. Psychological and financial abuse is also common. Knowing how to recognize potential signs of abuse is a critical first step in combatting the issue. Unfortunately, we often fail to recognize early warning signs and these harmful actions go unnoticed. The added complexities that the COVID-19 global pandemic has presented have made it even more challenging to identify signs of abuse and neglect.
How you can help raise awareness
And since today’s seniors live longer than ever before in history, getting involved in advocating for their care is about understanding that the problem of a lack of resources won’t go away on its own. We need an army of talented people to step up and decide to make older adult ministries a priority. Making a difference and raising awareness for elder abuse is not impossible or even difficult. Just a few steps from your side can help spread awareness and promote equality and care for older adults:
Wear purple on June 15 to show support for WEAAD and ending elder abuse.
Talk to your children about treating elders with dignity.
Join Ageless Alliance: United Against Elder Abuse, a social movement dedicated to the cause.
Stay informed about policies and laws regarding elder abuse and neglect.
Post information about elder abuse awareness on your social media.
Learn someone’s story or share yours.
Suggested Read: Important Days In June