World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2023 Sheds Light on a Global Crisis

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    lder abuse is an insidious issue affecting millions of vulnerable individuals worldwide, yet it often remains hidden in the shadows. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15th serves as a poignant reminder to address and combat this global crisis. In this blog, we will explore the significance of WEAAD 2023, the different forms of elder abuse, and highlight actionable steps to celebrate this important day.

    Significance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

    WEAAD, first established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, aims to raise awareness about elder abuse and promote the dignity, safety, and well-being of older adults. This annual observance provides an opportunity to shed light on the alarming prevalence of elder abuse while urging communities, organizations, and individuals to take action and prevent its occurrence.

    Understanding Elder Abuse 

    It's important to understand what elder abuse means.
                         Image by Freepik

    Elder abuse encompasses various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial mistreatment, as well as neglect and abandonment. Research indicates that elder abuse affects approximately 1 in 6 older adults globally, and the numbers are expected to rise due to an aging population. Older individuals are often targeted due to factors such as frailty, isolation, cognitive decline, and financial vulnerability.

    Celebrating WEAAD involves fostering understanding, promoting awareness, and encouraging action to prevent and address elder abuse. 

    Here are some impactful ways to make a difference:


    Raise awareness in your community by organizing workshops, seminars, or panel discussions on recognizing and preventing elder abuse. Collaborate with local organizations, schools, and healthcare providers to reach a wider audience.


    Support legislation and policies aimed at protecting the rights and well-being of older adults. Engage with policymakers, participate in advocacy campaigns, and sign petitions to strengthen elder abuse laws and increase penalties for offenders.


    Encourage elders to speak up about abuse.
                        Image by Freepik

    Encourage older adults to speak up and seek help if they are experiencing abuse. Provide them with resources, helplines, and support groups where they can safely share their concerns and receive assistance. Empowering older adults to assert their rights is crucial in combating elder abuse.

    Provide Training

    Equip caregivers, healthcare professionals, and volunteers with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and address elder abuse. Offer training programs that focus on recognizing signs of abuse, communication techniques, and reporting procedures.


    Show solidarity by volunteering your time or making donations to organizations that work to prevent elder abuse. These organizations provide crucial services such as helplines, emergency shelters, legal aid, counseling, and advocacy.

    Prominent Examples of WEAAD Initiatives Worldwide

    Organizations worldwide offer helpline and other care services to support the elders.
                        Image by Freepik

    Numerous organizations and communities worldwide have taken commendable steps to commemorate WEAAD and address elder abuse effectively. For instance:

    • The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in the United States organizes public events, webinars, and social media campaigns to raise awareness and provide educational resources.
    • In Australia, the Seniors Rights Service conducts training sessions for professionals, community members, and older adults themselves to promote understanding and prevention of elder abuse.
    • In the United Kingdom, Action on Elder Abuse runs a helpline and offers support services while advocating for stronger legislation to protect older adults from abuse.

    • The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) is a national organization dedicated to preventing elder abuse and promoting the rights and well-being of older adults. They actively participate in WEAAD by organizing events, webinars, and campaigns across the country. CNPEA also provides valuable resources, including toolkits, research, and training materials, to raise awareness and educate the public about elder abuse.

    • Legal Aid Services: Legal aid organizations across Canada offer specialized services to older adults who are victims of abuse. They provide legal advice, representation, and assistance in matters such as obtaining protective orders, navigating legal processes, and accessing justice. These services are crucial in empowering older adults and ensuring their rights are protected.
    • Research and Policy Development: Canadian universities, research institutions, and government bodies actively contribute to understanding and addressing elder abuse through research and policy development. Their work helps inform the development of effective strategies, interventions, and legislation to prevent and respond to elder abuse. Their findings are disseminated through reports, conferences, and publications, contributing to the broader understanding of elder abuse in Canada.

    These examples demonstrate the multifaceted approach taken in various countries to commemorate WEAAD and combat elder abuse. 


    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a powerful platform to confront the pressing issue of elder abuse and encourage society to take a stand against this global crisis. By educating ourselves, advocating for change, empowering older adults, providing support, and promoting awareness, we can work towards creating a safe environment for our elders.

    ABM College supports this noble cause and participates in creating awareness about it and educating professionals to provide optimal health care support.

    ABM College’s Personal Support Worker certificate program extensively covers the roles of multiple health care workers like health care aides, home support workers, attendants/respite workers, and more!  This PSW Certificate Program ensures you succeed not just in class, but in your future career.

    Contact us to learn more. 

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