Elder Abuse Awareness

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). WEAAD has been observed each year since 2006 to promote a better understanding of neglect and abuse of older adults. Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes harm or increases the risk of harm to an older adult. This may include abuse that is physical, emotional, or financial, among other types, and often occurs at the hands of a caregiver or another close or trusted individual. It is estimated that about 1 in 10 individuals over 60 who live at home have experienced some form of elder abuse.

According to the United Nations, the number of individuals over the age of 60 is expected to grow from 1 billion to 1.4 billion (38%) between 2019 and 2030. This could lead to an increase in cases of elder abuse if proper awareness is not brought to the issue.

Below are some ways you can help prevent elder fraud and draw awareness to the issue.

  • Take the time to listen to older adults to better understand their challenges and to offer support.
  • Report abuse or signs of abuse to adult protective services or the police.
  • Educate yourself on how to recognize elder abuse and how it differs from the normal aging process.
  • Offer support to caregivers who have taken on a heavy burden.

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