On June 15, 2006, the World Health Organization at the UN designated this day to be World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in its 66/127 resolution. This blog post answers the questions:
Why was Elder Abuse Awareness Day established?
Why is it important to shine a light on this particular kind of abuse?
Because the global population of individuals ages 60 and older is expected to reach 1.2 billion in 2025, elder abuse is something that has a high possibility of increasing as well. 6.2 billion is a huge increase from the 542 million elders in 1995. As people get older, their mental, physical and emotional states become more fragile and vulnerable, providing vindictive, greedy individuals the opportunity to take advantage of them. Due to the prevalence of elder abuse and the number of people living longer, the UN recognized the need to bring awareness to a type of abuse that is less talked about. In one of our previous blog posts entitled “Beware of Elder Abuse,” we spoke about the signs of elder abuse and provided a current example of an older celebrity allegedly experiencing abuse from people close to him. Even though elder abuse is one of the most common types of abuse, it is one of the types least investigated and hardest to prove due to the vulnerable, fragile states of the victims.
So what are we currently doing to help prevent elder abuse other than bringing awareness?
The UN has a global strategy and action plan to tackle elder abuse. The World Health Organization plans to improve its studies and research of elder abuse in low to middle-income countries, such as in the regions Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. There is little research on elder abuse in these regions; therefore, it is important for the World Health Organization to focus on these particular places. In order to develop solutions, the World Health Organization needs to research and investigate current efforts of made by those countries and pinpoint the places where they need to improve. Adequate caregiver training and effective use of hotlines are two examples of subjects to investigate.
How can we all do our part and observe Elder Abuse Awareness Day?
SOCIAL MEDIA! Social media is a great way to post and attract awareness to a cause. There are many charities that support the elder community. Try volunteering and promoting donations.
Here at Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC, we want to spread awareness to put an end to elder abuse. Even though it is almost the end of June, Elder Abuse Awareness Month, it doesn’t mean we have to stop caring. Please read our past blog posts to learn the signs of elder abuse and remember to be aware.