Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD is in support of the UN’s International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders.
Join the Cleveland Department of Aging and wear purple on Sunday June 15th in observance of Elder Abuse Awareness Day. To report suspected abuse, call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 216-420-6700, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn about other services for older adults in Cleveland, contact your Cleveland Department of Aging at 216-664-2833.
10 Things that Anyone Can Do to Prevent Elder Abuse
- Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect.
- Call or visit an elderly loved one and ask how he or she is doing.
- Provide a respite break for a caregiver.
- Ask your bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse.
- Ask your doctor to ask senior patients about possible family violence in their lives.
- Contact your local Adult Protective Services or Long-Term Care Ombudsman to learn how to support their work helping at-risk elders and adults with disabilities.
- Organize a “Respect Your Elders” essay or poster contest in your child’s school.
- Ask your religious congregration’s leader to give a talk about elder abuse at a service or to put a message about elder abuse in the bulletin.
- Volunteer to be a friendly visitor to a nursing home resident or to a homebound senior in your neighborhood.
- Send a letter to your local paper, radio or TV station suggesting that they cover World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) or Grandparents Day in September.