World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 15th
June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It can be difficult for older individuals to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will experience neglect. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes and less likely to die.
There are many ways to get involved in strengthening our communities and preventing elder abuse:
- Educate yourself and enable others to better recognize the warning signs
- Lend strength to existing social support structures
- Volunteer to be a friendly visitor and either call, mail or email an older person living in the community
- Don’t tolerate ageism – this begins with not making fun of older adults
- Contribute to building new social support structures:
- Report concerns to your local Adult Protective Services program or law enforcement
- Get involved with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program in your state, working to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare and rights of persons who live in long-term care facilities (e.g., nursing homes, assisted living).
Get more information about how to make a difference by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov or by calling the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet has many programs for older adults that increase social interaction and work toward ending elder abuse. To learn more about our programs and services for older adults, click here.