June 15 marks the 10-year anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Launched on June 15, 2016, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was founded by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
WEAAD was started to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of social, economic and demographic processes that contribute to elder abuse and neglect.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day supports the UN’s International Plan of Action, acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
The organization poses itself as a way for individuals, organizations and communities to inform the public about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Elder Abuse At An All-Time High
With one in ten elderly being abused in nursing homes each year, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings an opportunity to share information and spread awareness about abuse, neglect and exploitation in later life.
Due to the fact that many people don’t realize abuse is taking place, it often goes unrecognized. In fact, experts have reported that knowledge about elder abuse lags as much as two decades behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence. Furthermore, the National Center on Elder Abuse reveals elder abuse in domestic settings suggest that only 1 in 14 incidents come to the attention of authorities.
Awareness and Prevention
Elder abuse can take place in several different ways. Most commonly the abuse is emotional, financial, physical or sexual. Perpetrators are more likely to be adult children or spouses, which is why reporting the abuse becomes much more difficult.
Low social support significantly increases the chance of virtually any form of abuse. When referring to nursing homes specifically, often times the victim does not have frequent visitors. A 2009 study showed that close to 50% of people with dementia experience some kind of abuse.
Aside from educating people, one of the biggest challenges is getting them to speak up. If you or a loved one needs to report abuse in the community, contact your local Adult Protective Services agency.
Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York is one of the few New Jersey Law firms to focus
a significant part of its practice on representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. To arrange a free consultation to discuss your nursing home claim, please visit us here or call our toll free number: 800-609-7577.