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Friday, June 16, 2006

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


Today was the first "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day", launched at UN Headquarters in New York City, which calls for people to wear something purple to show support. This day was established by the INPEA (International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse), which is a standing committee of the International Association of Gerontology (IAG).

According to the INPEA, "[t]he key objective of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is to raise awareness
of elder abuse (which encompasses neglect and mal- or mistreatment) throughout the
world."

The main message that this organization is trying to promote is to never ignore elder abuse, and they also want to point out that 1) Most elder abuse is hidden; 2) Ageism (age discrimination) is a major cause of elder abuse; 3)Ageism and disempowerment lead to elder abuse being hidden; and 4) Empowering older persons is the most effective tool in the response
to elder abuse.

This day, at the very least, should remind us all that elder abuse happens. It is best to keep an eye out for warning signs and not simply look the other way. See if your community has an elder abuse hotline or other was for you to help anonymously.
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