#WorldElderAbuseAwarenessDay; #UNInternationalDay; #Canada
Ottawa, Jun 15 (Canadian-Media): Observance of June 15 as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) around the world was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 as an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue, media reports said.
Deb Schulte. Image credit: Twitter handle.
On June 15 Deb Schulte, Canada's Minister of Seniors, issued the following statement:
“On June 15, we mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to recognize and raise awareness about the effects of abuse on older persons. Seniors are too often victims of not only physical and sexual abuse, but also neglect, psychological or financial abuse, often perpetrated by a person of trust.
This year’s theme for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, “Uproot Elder Abuse, Plant a Seed for Change”, encourages change one seed at a time. On this day, let’s take the time to reflect on how we can plant the seeds of change, take action, make a difference in our communities, and let seniors know that they are not alone.
Raising awareness and recognizing the signs of elder abuse are the first steps to preventing and ending abuse. Signs include: fear, anxiety or depression in relation to a family member, friend or care provider; unexplained physical injuries; poor nutrition or hygiene; improper use of medication; sudden drop in cash flow or sudden changes to legal documents.
Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has put seniors at an increased risk of abuse, since so many seniors are living in isolation and do not have access to their usual community supports and social connections.
More than ever, we need to check-in on our parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends. I encourage all Canadians to reach out to seniors in their family and friend networks during this challenging time.
To learn more about elder abuse and how you can help stop it, visit Elder abuse awareness.“
Three steps to combat elder abuse are: Learning What is elder abuse? Staying informed and knowing your rights can help you protect yourself; Learn the signs and symptoms and identify if you or a senior you know under elder abuse or neglect; In case of any form of elder abuse, ask for help. Find resources in your province or territory.
Multiple WEAAD activities across the country are being planned for Elder Abuse networks and organizations to mobilize community action and get people to engage in discussions on how to promote dignity and respect of older adults.
Although the occurrence of elderly abuse occurs too often, it remains a largely hidden problem. Due to the rapidly aging populations in many countries, elderly abuse is predicted to increase which can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological effects, use of emergency services, hospitalization, and death.
Prevention and response strategies include recognition of elder abuse through professional awareness campaigns; provide caregiver support to reduce stress; residential care policies to define and improve standards of care.
Between 2019 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is estimated to grow by 38 percent from 1 billion to 1.4 billion, globally outnumbering youth.
This increase would be experienced most rapidly in the developing world and recognizes greater attention to the specific challenges affecting older persons, including in the field of human rights.
Elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries yet is typically underreported globally.
Recognition, detection, and addressing elder abuse needs to be considered culturally keeping in mind culturally specific risk factors.