The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) announces the 6th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. They encourage everyone to show the world you care about ending elder abuse and neglect by wearing something purple on this day.
Information about the extent of abuse in elderly populations is scant, and difficult to get. The few population-based studies that have been conducted suggest that up to 6% of elder people experience some form of abuse in the home. But what goes on behind closed doors will always be a mystery, and the elderly are often afraid to speak out about abuse by the very people they depend upon for daily care.
In institutions, the statistics are a little clearer. In a survey in the United States, 36% of nursing home staff report having witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient during the previous year…10% admit having physically abused a patient themselves…and 40% admitted that they had psychologically abused patients. (Then, consider that these are the people who admit wrong-doing. How many others don’t want to admit it?)
The first Awareness Day in 2006 involved several hundred organizations and governmental bodies at international, national, regional, local, community and neighborhood level…on every continent in the world. The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action which recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons is largely under-recognized or treated as an unspoken problem. Unfortunately, no community or country in the world is immune from this costly, public health and human rights crisis. Research indicates that public education campaigns like World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) are vital for informing people in a growing number of countries about this problem.
By marking this day, we gain the chance to speak with one voice about an issue that will eventually affect every person on the planet, directly or indirectly. The organizers suggest that, by wearing purple on June 15, we can show the world we care.
To read more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and to learn what you can do to take action against abuse, click here: International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
At HensonFuerst Attorneys, we take our role as advocates for nursing home residents very seriously, and we will continue to protect their rights, to speak for people who have no voice. If you believe someone you know has been harmed by abuse or neglect, please feel free to call us at 1-800-4-LAWMED. Someone is always available—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also learn more on our website at https://www.lawmed.com/.
If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.