June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).
Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse established WEAAD in June 2006. The United Nations General Assembly officially recognized the day in December 2011.
Elder abuse is any action that harms an older person or jeopardizes the person’s health or wellbeing. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual and financial. Neglect is also a form of abuse. It involves not doing something, such as withholding needed medication or not providing the older adult with food, shelter or care.
“I call upon Governments and all concerned actors to design and carry out more effective prevention strategies and stronger laws and policies to address all aspects of elder abuse. Let us work together to optimize living conditions for older persons and enable them to make the greatest possible contribution to our world.”
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The BC Care Providers Association will continue to urge the Government of British Columbia to adopt a zero tolerance approach to elder abuse. A zero tolerance approach sends the clear message that abuse will not be tolerated in the continuing care sector. To read our letter to former Minister of Health Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, click here.
To learn more about what to do if you suspect elder abuse, click here.