World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2023
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a yearly event that takes place on June 15th with the purpose of increasing awareness and understanding of the mistreatment, discrimination, and neglect faced by older individuals. The day serves as a platform to highlight the rights of elderly people and promote a society that values and respects their presence. It aims to draw attention to the different types of abuse, abandonment, and exploitation experienced by seniors while emphasizing the importance of protecting their well-being and preserving their dignity. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day encourages individuals and communities to take action and advocate for the rights and welfare of older adults.
The Theme of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2023
The theme for this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is “Closing the Circle: Addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Older Age Policy, Law, and Evidence-based Responses.”
- The focus will be on updating policies, implementing universal laws, and utilizing evidence-based approaches to address elder abuse, specifically gender-based violence, in older age.
- The commemoration will provide updates on the outcomes of the fourth review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), highlight the importance of a legally binding instrument to prevent and combat elder abuse and showcase the implementation of the five priorities of the Decade to tackle the abuse of older people.
- This will include gap maps, population-based surveys, and cost-effective solutions that are based on evidence. The goal is to strengthen efforts in addressing gender-based violence and promoting the well-being and rights of older individuals.
Origin of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was established by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) in 2006. It gained further recognition when the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/66/127 in 2011, designating June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The resolution calls upon all Member States, United Nations organizations, international and regional organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and individuals to observe this day in a suitable manner. The aim is to raise awareness about elder abuse and encourage various stakeholders to take action to prevent and address the mistreatment and neglect experienced by older adults worldwide.
What is Elder Abuse?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), elder abuse is defined as a harmful or distressing action, or the lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, and involving an older person. It can manifest in different forms, including physical, psychological/emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Elder abuse can also result from intentional or unintentional neglect, where the needs of older individuals are not adequately met. It is crucial to address and prevent elder abuse to ensure the well-being and safety of older adults.
Addressing Elder Abuse
- Around 1 in 6 individuals aged 60 years and older have experienced some form of abuse in community settings within the past year.
- Rates of elder abuse are particularly high in institutional settings like nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff members reporting incidents of abuse in the past year.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, leading to an increase in elder abuse cases.
- Between 2019 and 2030, the global population of individuals aged 60 years or older is projected to increase by 38%, reaching 1.4 billion.
- This growth will be most significant in developing countries, surpassing the number of youth. It is crucial to recognize the specific challenges faced by older persons, particularly in the context of human rights.
- Elder abuse is a widespread issue that affects both developing and developed countries, although it is often underreported globally.
- Prevalence rates or estimates are available only for selected developed countries, ranging from 1% to 10%.
- Despite the lack of precise data on the extent of elder mistreatment, its social and moral implications are evident.
- As many countries are facing rapidly aging populations, it is predicted that the incidence of elder abuse will continue to rise.
- Elder abuse can have severe consequences, including physical injuries and long-term psychological effects.
Therefore, addressing elder abuse requires a comprehensive global response that prioritizes the protection of the rights of older persons.
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