World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - What You Can Do To Help

June 15, 2017

Words alone cannot describe the love we have for the elderly in our community. After all, for those of us that were fortunate enough to have relationships with our grandparents, the relationship we had with them held a very special place in our hearts. We associate the elderly with being “older and wiser” and people who love sharing stories from their lives. However, we don’t always remember that sometimes the elderly can more easily be taken advantage of, and even abused. This is a very sad reality in today’s world as there has been more instances as of late where innocent elderly men and women have been attacked or abused, whether by random strangers or even their own family members.

The United Nations has proclaimed June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day or WEAAD for short. As the global elderly population increases, it is more important than ever to increase awareness of this issue. Though many groups of people suffer from abuse, the elderly are often more susceptible to it. Elder abuse awareness is still not as high as it should be despite more instances of elder abuse cropping up. The abuse the elderly generally face is physical or mental in nature but there are plenty documented cases of financial abuse; those that would seek to exploit an elderly person’s kind and giving nature for selfish financial gain. The elderly themselves are not equipped to properly deal with the abuse, either they physically can’t defend themselves or they don’t have the knowledge to safeguard themselves from financial scams. Or they may have too much pride or they’re too embarrassed to report it.

This years theme of Elder Abuse Awareness Day is emphasizing that older people have the “right to a life of dignity in old age, free of all forms of abuse, including financial and material exploitation, which could lead to poverty, hunger, homelessness, compromised health and well-being, and even premature mortality.” Unfortunately, there is no simple way to detect abuse in elders. Usually it is caught by a person’s children as a stroke of luck. Children will see their parents not being properly treated on video by their home aids or will notice some strange behavior in their loved ones. Sadly, it is often too late by the time the abuse is detected. 

Therefore, it is important for everyone to be on the lookout for elder abuse. Organizations, such as the UN, are working with legislatures to strengthen the laws against elder abuse and enforce stricter penalties for those who abuse the elderly. At Centers Health Care, we strive to take care of our elderly community with all of our hearts. Let’s take care of them together by raising more awareness of elder abuse and working to help create safeguards to protect so no one will ever raise a hand to harm them again.

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