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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

Wed, Jun 15

|

Worldwide

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) – commemorated on June 15th every year – is an opportunity for people or organizations to take action to protect older people by raising awareness about elder abuse, why it occurs, and what we can do to stop it.

Time & Location

Jun 15, 2022, 12:00 AM PDT – Jun 16, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

Worldwide, United States

About the event

An estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans experience elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Working together, we can build the essential social supports that prevent abuse and keep everyone safe as we age.

What Is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to an older person. Elder abuse takes many forms, including:

  • Neglect or Isolation
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse and exploitation
  • Emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats)Each state defines elder abuse differently. (You may wish to look up your state’s statutes to see how elder abuse is defined. For assistance, contact the NCEA.)

Why Should We Care About Elder Abuse?

Caring about elder abuse is caring about justice for all. As a country, we are committed to ensuring the just treatment of all people, but elder abuse violates this value.The costs of elder abuse are high for the affected individuals and society alike. Their losses can be tangible (homes and life savings) and intangible (dignity, independence, and possibly their lives). For society, elder abuse is both a social and economic issue: it creates health care and legal costs, which are often shouldered by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and isolates them from the community. It’s in everyone’s interest to care about and prevent elder abuse.

How Can We Report Elder Abuse?

It is up to everyone to prevent and address elder abuse. Report suspected mistreatment to your local adult protective services, long-term care ombudsman or law enforcement agency who can investigate the situation.

Programs such as Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are here to help. For reporting numbers, contact Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 (eldercare.gov).

If you believe that an older person is in a life-threatening situation, contact 911 or the local police or sheriff’s department.

Learn more about the issue. Visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website at https://ncea.acl.gov.

Background

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD is in support of the UN’s International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older people.

The Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), is sponsoring the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Tool Kit to encourage national, state, and local organizations to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to empower communities to get involved and take action.

Community organizations, places of worship, and small businesses including banks, pharmacies, and grocery stores, as well as senior centers and community centers, are on the frontline when it comes to elder abuse prevention. Staff and members of these organizations encounter people of all ages on a daily basis and are in a position to recognize and intervene in instances of elder abuse, as well as to educate the community about this problem.

Participation in WEAAD can increase public awareness of elder abuse. By joining the effort to explain why elder abuse occurs, how we can prevent and address it and how we can shape the public conversation. Be a change architect. Help us to build solutions that will support older people and strengthen our communities.

To learn more about Elder Abuse and how you can help raise awareness, visit https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/weaad-home/

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