World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD for short) was created by a United Nations resolution in 2011.
What is elder abuse?
The World Health Organisation definition is: "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person". Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse, or it can happen as a result of intentional or unintentional neglect.
How many people suffer from elder abuse in the UK each year?
Elder abuse is hard to identify because, like child abuse, it often happens ‘behind closed doors’. In 2014 an independent Comic Relief study estimated that over 500,000 older people are abused across the UK each year.
What is WEAAD?
This year WEAAD is Thursday 15th June. It is a day to raise awareness of elder abuse, to try and influence the legislative process, and to fundraise to help prevent abuse in all of its forms. Elder abuse is a growing issue worldwide and one we need to act to stop now!
What people can do for WEAAD
From 12th to 18th June, and particularly on Thursday 15th June, groups, organisations and individuals will be running a range of activities to highlight the issue of elder abuse right across the United Kingdom. The event also lets local communities know that staff in the care sector are committed to good quality care and support.
Action on Elder Abuse has an A to Z guide of ideas (PDF) that is available to download and help those interested in planning events & activities.
How WEAAD helps
By raising the profile and money on WEAAD, we hope to influence politicians and government, as well as drawing the attention of the general public to the issue. The day also allows Action on Elder Abuse to raise vital funds to continue with the provision of services and to fight for improvements to legislation in the four nations of the UK.
Action on Elder Abuse’s Services
Action on Elder Abuse (Charity number 1140543) was established in 1993 as a specialist organisation focusing exclusively on issues relating to the abuse of older people. It coordinates all activities in the UK for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on behalf of the United Nations.
They provide direct support to over 25,000 victims of elder abuse annually and reach many more through awareness-raising activities and policy work:
- Running a helpline dedicated exclusively to the issue of elder abuse.
- Establishing the Elder Abuse Recovery Service (EARS), a specialist volunteering & befriending scheme, which utilises the skills, support & goodwill of trained volunteers to help abuse victims overcome the trauma they have experienced and regain the confidence and ability to re-engage with their former lifestyles. It is a key tool in re-integrating elderly victims with society, and their local community.
- They work with the media, writing articles and commenting on abuse cases to raise awareness of elder abuse and influence social policy.
- They undertake project work and social policy activity.
- They also provide educational materials and direct training for those working with older people, including advocates, volunteers and unpaid community workers.
If you know anyone being abused, or at risk of abuse, who needs help please call our
FREE helpline on 08 08 808 81 41
If you would like more information or advice on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day or would like to learn how you can plan an event to fundraise and help us prevent abuse, please email: RobertHacking@ElderAbuse.org.uk or call him on 020 8835 9289.