Every year on June 15th, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) provide awareness resources and prevention information for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). According to a press release from the AoA, WEAAD was established in 2006 by several different global organizations that partnered to help stop elder abuse across the world.
Elder Abuse and Neglect Occurs Across the Globe
In conjunction with the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations, the NCEA and AoA hope to “provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons.” What kind of tools are necessary to help global citizens understand elder abuse and neglect? While age is a primary risk factor for sustaining injuries resulting from elder abuse, nursing home abuse and neglect isn’t limited to just one socioeconomic or ethnic group.
To be sure, the AoA emphasizes that it’s important to look at “cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.” As the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, “in many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response.” And regions across the globe consider the subject to be taboo, and thus not one that’s open to large-scale awareness and prevention efforts. However, there is hope. WHO emphasizes that in some countries in which public discussions of abuse and neglect previously were avoided, it’s slowly becoming a topic of public health concern.
But don’t go thinking that nursing home abuse or elder neglect only occur in certain parts of the world. Both developing and developed countries have to contend with elder abuse injuries, and elder abuse and neglect are “typically underreported globally.” According to WHO, it’s important for primary health care providers, as well as social services employees, to have proper training for identifying and reporting elder abuse.
Awareness Day Encourages Communities to Help Prevent Nursing Home Abuse
While WEAAD is a great time to get involved in awareness programs in your community, at the same time, the activities in June can serve as a reminder of the kinds of programs we can create year-round. Some ideal activities for San Diego-area residents might include:
- Helping to develop an educational program about nursing home abuse
- Creating a press conference to discuss elder abuse problems in Southern California;
- Volunteering at a local nursing home; and/or
- Writing an editorial about elder abuse for publication in a local newspaper, such as U-T San Diego.
Remember, contending with the massive elder abuse problems across the country can’t resolve itself with an annual awareness day. However, each step helps, and WEAAD reminds us each year that we need to do more to combat elder abuse in San Diego and to assist elderly Californians who have been injured while residing in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.
Do you have questions about how you can get involved with nursing home abuse prevention measures in Southern California? Or do you have concerns about an elderly loved one in a nearby nursing home or assisted-living facility? You should speak with an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer today.
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