13 June 2023
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) has been celebrated every year on 15 June since its launch in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization.
Elder abuse is an intentional act of misconduct or inaction that may cause or create a risk of harm to an older person. It is a global problem. It is estimated that around 500,000 older people are victims of abuse in the UK alone, and St Helena is no exception. However, as a small community, we can minimise abuse or neglect by standing up for our elders. Doing so increases their safety and well-being, and draws attention to the need for all of us to take responsibility for preventing elder abuse.
Our older people may become isolated in our community when their working careers. It is easy for older people to become forgotten or neglected, particularly if they are relying on family and friends for care, who may be busy with their own lives or potentially even living overseas. Neglect is a form of abuse, and can often go unnoticed.
Elder abuse is a serious problem and we need to work hard to raise awareness of it. Our elderly should be supported throughout the year and we should ensure that their difficulties are not ignored.
Any form of elder abuse is a criminal offence and can have a significant negative impact on a person’s life. If you become aware of someone who is being abused, you should take immediate action to protect their social and human rights.
If you see an older person being abused or neglected, please report it to the Adult Services team who can be contacted on 23172. Or the Equality and Human Rights Team on the telephone number: 22133. If it is considered to be an emergency please contact 999 or the Police Reception on the telephone number: 22626.
WEAAD encourages us to work together, to stand up and speak out to safeguard our older people by protecting their rights to live in a safe community, free from abuse and neglect.
The colour purple is associated with WEAAD as it represents royalty, dignity and respect, exactly how we should describe and treat our elders. So on Thursday 15 June, ‘be purple’, wear purple and light purple to raise awareness of the need for our community to be free from elder abuse.
#StHelena # WorldElderAbuseAwarenessDay #Purple #WEAAD