July 29, 2020 Elder Abuse Prevention Committee

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

By Deirdre M. W. Lok

Last month, elder justice professionals and community members across the world commemorated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in new, creative, and meaningful ways. The impacts of COVID-19 have sharpened our focus on the pain and danger of isolation. Right now, connection and a coordinated community response to elder abuse is as important as ever. Below are some highlights of the creative ways WEAAD was recognized this year:

  • The National Center on Elder Abuse and the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life highlighted resources and events on their WEAAD microsite, including concrete ways to Take Action to end ageism and elder abuse.
  • The American Psychological Association created an e-card for individuals to share to increase awareness of elder abuse.
  • The American Society on Aging compiled educational materials and hosted a free webinar to support better understanding and prevention of elder abuse.

One in ten older adults experience abuse in the community, and billions of dollars have been lost to financial abuse and exploitation of older adults. Even these numbers are likely under-reported. In New York, only an estimated one in 24 older adults experiencing abuse are connected to services. Preventing, identifying, and intervening in cases of elder abuse require public awareness and education. For more information, visit the Senior Lawyer Division’s Elder Abuse Prevention Committee website.

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About the Committee

The Elder Abuse Prevention Committee looks to educate the legal community on the problem of elder abuse and advocate for its victims. The committee efforts include preventing scams and financial exploitation. The group has compiled a list of resources in each state where elder abuse can be reported.