World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is held annually on June 15th bringing greater recognition of mistreatment of older adults, wherever they live throughout the world, and to highlight the need for appropriate action. It is intended to give abuse and neglect of older adults a global relevance that will sustain and move prevention efforts forward throughout the whole year and years to come.
Elder Abuse is a universal problem - prevalent everywhere. Abuse can occur anywhere, by anyone, but frequently is familial, institutional, and social. Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person: physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, psychological abuse, financial abuse, neglect and self-neglect.
The past decade has brought increased public awareness of the mistreatment of older persons worldwide. Achievements have been marked by innovation and creativity, policy and program development, and legislation. Still in many areas of the world, abuse and neglect of older adults largely remains unrecognized or addressed. This important issue is likely to grow as many countries experience rapidly aging populations. It is predicted that by the year 2025, the global population of those aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to 1.2 billion, according to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
Nationally in the U.S., estimates of elder abuse vary, but it is generally believed that 4-6% of older adults have experienced abuse according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Personal losses for victims can be devastating and include loss of independence, homes, life savings, health, dignity, and security. Victims of elder abuse have been shown to have shorter life expectancies than non-abused older people.
Raising awareness and prevention of elder abuse requires the involvement of everyone. A Community Resource Toolkit from INPEA is available to help individuals, organizations and communities throughout the world plan for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, on June 15th of each year.
Show the world you care about ending elder abuse and neglect by recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th!
- Wear something PURPLE on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
- Become more knowledgeable about elder abuse.
- Do your part in your community to make your world, our world, free of elder abuse!
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