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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Things you can do to help eradicate elder abuse and neglect

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are two holidays dedicated to celebrating the men and women who sacrificed so much to bring us into the world and to raise us to be the people we are today. 

Here at the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, we believe in repaying our elders by making sure that they receive the best care possible in their own times of vulnerability.  In 2006, June 15 was established as the First Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to bring awareness to the much-ignored problem of elder abuse and neglect on an international level.

From New York to Mumbai to our offices in Orange, people are pausing to commemorate a problem that even some who work with the aging population find difficult to believe.  With this more powerful level of collaboration, elder abuse prevention is on its way to gaining the awareness and support needed to help elder victims around the world.

World Elder Abuse Day this year promises to bring us closer than ever to our goal of eradicating elder abuse from the planet. UC Irvine’s own geriatrician, Dr. Laura Mosqueda, will commemorate WEAAD by speaking at the International Forum on Sexual Safety of Older Women in Toronto, Canada, along with several other prestigious physicians, journalists, authors, and researchers who are united by similar goals.  All of these people are willing to travel great distances in the interest of sharing ideas on prevention and treatment in order to address elder abuse in the most effective way possible.

Although we all wish we could witness such a grand collaboration in person, it is also easy  to make our own contributions from home!   The Center of Excellence has compiled a list of “10 Things Anyone Can Do To Prevent Elder Abuse.”  This list includes such simple tasks as calling or visiting an elderly loved one and asking how he or she is doing. For the full list click here­.  You can also review our “Red Flags of Elder Abuse,” which we have published in five different languages so far (English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Chinese).  This handout details risk factors associated with elder abuse and reveals resources for those who suspect that a senior may not be receiving adequate care. See Related Links for more resources from the Center of Excellence.

For those of you who live in Orange County, there is yet another way you can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable adults.  Unseen OC, the Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition, has created Project Dignity, with the mission of collecting vital supplies for older adults in need. The list includes toothbrushes and paste, soap, new comfortable clothing items (including socks, basic t-shirts and sweatsuits), supermarket and department store gift cards, blankets, and other non-food items.  These donations will be collected at the Anaheim Family Justice Center on and before June 15, and will be distributed by Adult Protective Services and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to seniors throughout Orange County.  Please contact centeronelderabuse@uci.edu for more info on how to contribute to project dignity

The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect would like to extend its gratitude in advance for your support of this special day.  Because it has been estimated that only one in six cases of elder abuse is ever reported to the proper authorities, we recognize the importance of spreading awareness in an effort to make sentinels out of civilians. Your support reinforces, as well as informs, our efforts to  create a better world for all, a world without elder abuse.

 

Commemorate Elder Abuse Awareness Day with posters from the Center of Excellence.