Raise a cuppa for seniors on this day!
Safe, warm houses, cups of tea, and liberal splashes of the colour purple will all be deployed next week to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Monday 15 June. The United Nations General Assembly designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day In December 2011 with its resolution 66/127. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations.
The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Around 4 to 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home.
Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological, or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. The incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, following a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), who first established the commemoration in June 2006.
In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. It is a global social issue which affects the health, well-being, independence and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of all in the community. According to WHO, prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries – ranging from 1 to 10 per cent. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious.
Older people are essential in the fabric of our society. It’s time for us to acknowledge their importance and recognise they are entitled to the respect of their communities and especially their families.
Together we are better
• Together we are better in supporting older Australians who are experiencing abuse
• Together we are better in safeguarding older Australians from abuse
• Together we are better in providing a supportive environment so that Australians have longer, healthier and more productive lives
• Together we are better in developing new models of care to keep older Australians at the centre of innovation.
Some useful links
5) The national 1800ELDERHelp line (1800 353 374) is available to anyone who wants to talk to someone about potential or actual elder abuse. This service provides information on how you can get help, support and referrals.