The United Nations has designated June 15, 2014 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies. The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action which recognizes the significance of abuse and neglect of older adults as a public health and human rights issue. Throughout the world, senior abuse and neglect is largely under-recognized.
In support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Sunrise Health Region, Social Work Department will host a “Coffee and Learn” event on Monday, June 16th. Staff of the Social Work Department will be available to answer questions and provide information on all forms of Elder Abuse. Please join them in the main entrance of the Yorkton Regional Health Centre from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m. This learning opportunity is open to everyone, free of charge.
Similar to other types of violence, abuse of the elderly can be physical (including medication related abuse), sexual and psychological abuse, as well as neglect. Elderly people are also vulnerable to economic abuse, in which others make improper use of a senior’s resources. Financial abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse against seniors and frequently goes unreported. Financial abuse includes all forms of manipulation (including threats and intimidation), or exploitation of someone else’s money. That would include using older adults’ money or property dishonestly, or failing to use older adults’ assets for as intended for the welfare of the senior.
The World Health Organization reports that by the year 2025, the global population of those aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion. These changes have led to a worldwide recognition of the problems and challenges that face the elderly. Research has shown that elder abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation is one of the biggest issues facing senior citizens around the world. World Health Organization data suggests that 4 to 6 percent of elderly suffer from some form of abuse, a large percentage of which goes unreported.