June 15 is the heart of the year. It’s half-way through the calendar year, at the very mid-point of the month. It seems fitting today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEADD). For the 10th year, events across the globe mark the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of all people, regardless of age. In these years the WEADD movement has grown through leading global conversations on the dignity of older adults and prevention of elder abuse.
For most of us it is unfathomable that older adults and individuals in care experience increased vulnerability to harm and abuse. The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) has been counting down to WEADD 2015 by sharing 15 facts about elder abuse. Its clear elder abuse is a complex issue and individuals of all ages need work together to end it. In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, will you commit to challenging ageism?
What is ageism?
There are many signs of society permitting value and dignity to expire with age. At a certain age individuals are perceived as less capable, attractive and relevant. These injustices small and large are ageism, and unjust attitudes and stereotypes about older individuals and the aging process contribute to elder abuse. This issue is especially pressing for those working to prevent and respond to domestic and sexual violence in later life.
People of all ages can fight ageism. How will you be involved?
- Learn 12 things anyone can to prevent elder abuse
- Challenge assumptions based on age and ability
- Support the rights and fair treatment of older workers
- Share information on healthy sexuality across the lifespan
- Ask an elder in your life to stories with you
- Confront jokes that disrespect seniors
- Talk with lawmakers about building laws that support elders in making decisions about their own lives.
What do you think it’s important for communities to understand in addressing and preventing elder abuse? Share the ways you engage and empower individuals of all ages in a comment below.