World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was established by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization on June 15, 2006, at the United Nations.
Nonetheless, it was formally acknowledged by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.
It is the one day of the year when the abuses meted out to the elder generations are highlighted and attention drawn towards the issue which often remains underestimated and overlooked by communities, notwithstanding evidence that elder abuse is a significant public health and socioeconomic issue.
According to the United Nations, elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries yet is typically under-reported globally. Even though the exact extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious, the UN underlines. As such, it demands a global multifaceted response, one which focuses on protecting the rights of older persons, it stresses and right so.
By 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 38%, from 1 billion to 1.4 billion, globally outnumbering youth, and this increase will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world. There is as such need for recognizing that greater attention needs to be paid to the specific challenges affecting older persons, including in the field of human rights, the UN underlined.
Experts say that multiple sectors and interdisciplinary collaboration can contribute to reducing elder abuse and among others include the social welfare sector, through the provision of legal, financial, and housing support. Public education and awareness campaigns along with detection and treatment of victims by primary health care workers also prove helpful in this regard. Above all, people should address geriatric problems on their own and treat the elders as assets to be respected and care for them.
The government is also required to come up with preventive measures and may look towards World Health Organization delineated strategies aimed at preventing elder abuse.
The principal goal of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to offer communities around the world with an opportunity to get a better knowledge of the abuse and neglect of elder people. The preservation or restoration of dignity and respect for elder persons is crucial in such situations. People must realize it and ensure better treatment for them.