June 15, 2014 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day was created in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The very idea behind WEAAD was to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons. It was intended to show that this health concern is a global concern regardless of race, culture, social or economic status.
In the past, many communities groups developed educational programs or press conference, organizing visits to the elderly and writing articles in local newspapers. Here are some facts about elder abuse from a global perspective:
- In many parts of the world, elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. Until recently, this serious social problem was hidden from the public view and considered mostly a private matter.
- Elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries yet is typically underreported globally. Prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries ranging from 1% to 10%.
- Around 4-6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home.
- Elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
- Elder maltreatment is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
- 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.
As I always mention, please report all incidents to the proper authorities. You can also find information on the National Center on Elder Abuse’s website at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov.
Please feel free to leave your questions or comments.
World Health Organization