Are you or do you know an elderly adult being abused, neglected, or exploited?
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.
“Elder abuse includes physical, emotional, or sexual harm inflicted upon an older adult, their financial exploitation, or neglect of their welfare by people who are directly responsible for their care.”
As the older members of our community older become increasingly less mobile or frail, their ability to take care of themselves physically and financially can be compromised. This makes them less able to stand up to bullying behaviour, or even fight back if being physically attacked.
The abuse suffered by elders, is often endured in their place of residence. Mental and physical conditions suffered by the elderly, can leave them open to uncaring or manipulative behaviour, as well as physical harm and neglect.
The abusers themselves tend to be those charged with the direct care of the victim, such as in nursing homes and other care facilities. There are those with no family, who may feel they have no one to turn to for support and to seek help. Commonly neglect and abuse occurs in their own home by family members such as adult children, grandchildren and other care providers.
If you know an elderly person that you suspect may be at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, is being taken advantage of financially, or you believe is being harmed in any way, it’s important to advocate for that person and help them to be heard.
Our elders deserve to feel safe in their homes and places of residence.
Visit our resources page for information on how to contact a host of helpful community organisations, providing care, services and assistance for the elderly and people with a disability.