by Skye Felsing, Project Administrator, PREVNT Initiative
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. WEAAD is held each year to “provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.” It also grants individuals, organizations and communities a stage from which they can raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
According to the United Nations, in 2025 the global population of people aged 60 years and older will have more than doubled, rising from 542 million in 1995 to 1.2 billion. The UN also states that somewhere between “4-6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment.” Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation “can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.” As the world’s aging populations continue to grow, the incidence of elder abuse is predicted to grow with them. The goal of WEAAD is to bring much needed attention to these facts in the hopes that educated individuals, communities, and organizations will work to end elder abuse.
Across the nation, on WEAAD, several events and summits are scheduled to help raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Events such as the First GLOBAL Summit in Washington, D.C, will bring together national leaders from many fields to bring awareness to the many types of elder abuse. The events also promote networking, communication between disciplines, and information sharing.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) provides a wealth of information and resources to those looking to get involved in WEAAD. The ACL “encourages individuals and organizations across our nation, states, and local communities to take a stand and to raise public awareness about elder abuse.” Their website provides a WEAAD Took Kit, flyers, and logos, as well as access to information that other organizations have provided.
For more information and to learn how you can take part in WEAAD and help put an end to elder abuse visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website or the National Adult Protective Services website.
Skye Felsing is a Project Administrator for the PREVNT Initiative who has been at Elder Law since June of 2013. Skye graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a degree in social studies education.
Prior to working at Elder Law of Michigan, Skye spent 5 months teaching English in Thailand. Upon her return to the United States, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Lansing area. Recently, she has joined the PREVNT Initiative providing administrative support for ELM and our partners in the project.