World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15th June 2020
As Kids, and in our growing up days, we loved being around our grandparents. Our grandparents loved and cared for us. Gave us yummy food and not to forget those interesting stories which ended with a lesson for life. We have learnt so many life-changing lessons by just living with the elders and hearing them narrate their life experiences.
Once we grew up and get busy with our life errands, we tend to ignore the elders and their existence around us. In many households, they gradually turn into a burden that has nowhere else to go and hence are left to be in the house. Elders do not get their share of respect.
The younger generation forgets that these were the people who took care of their demands when they were young. Slowly knowingly or unknowingly these things turn into Abuse. To bring awareness about such Abuse toward elders, the United Nations has recognized 15th June of every year as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
What is Elder Abuse?
Before we get to learn about this day, we should first look into what is Elder Abuse. In the society, when the elders do not get their share of respect, care and concern when they get mistreated and misbehaved with, we call it Abusing the Elders. Abuse can be of many types, Financial Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Physical or Emotional Abuse or just sheer ignorance towards elders.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – History
The United Nations general assembly officially recognized the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in December 2011 after receiving a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). The United Nations declared this day by passing a resolution 66/127.
According to the United Nations, every 1 in 6 elder experiences some form of Abuse in their every life. Every year there is a considerable increase in the number of elders in society. This number is expected to keep growing in the next ten years. With the growth in the number of elders, the abuse rate towards them is also likely to be on a raise. Keep this point in view, the recognition of this day and its importance becomes critical.
Significance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020
Abuse of any form against older people is a crime. They are as human as you and I. They deserve more respect and care in society. Any Abuse against them can leave long-term physiological effect along with severe physical injuries.
This is a global social issue that needs to be addressed with immediate effect. It is about protecting the social and human rights of older people in society. Whether it is our parents or somebody else’s, every older adult deserves respect for their contribution to making the younger generation what they are today.
The critical reason for this day being declared the United Nations is to bring about awareness on Elder Abuse. Many elders suffer from Domestic Violence, where they are unable to raise voice against their loved ones. This is a severe Crime, and the abusers can be punished severally by the Law.
With the increase in population, in the next 20 years, the number of the older generation will outnumber, the younger generation. With this, it becomes critical for us to protect the elders from any Abuse. According to the data with World health organization, 4 to 6 per cent of the elders suffer from some form of Abuse and a large percentage of which goes unreported. This day is an effort in recognizing that there is such a thing called elder Abuse and working towards controlling such Abuse.
This day is recognized as a means to spread awareness on Elder Abuse all over the world. Elder Abuse is a Global issue that does not get as much attention as it should. Them main Objective of this day is to allow promoting better awareness of on Abuse and negligence of elders through cultural, social and economic processes.
Many elders are left at an old age home. They do not get proper care and attention. Making an effort to spend some time with them over a weekend and making sure they are feeling protected is an excellent way of spreading awareness.
NGOs and old age homes can organize for social activities where the younger generation mingles with, the older generations to learn from their life experiences. Such events help build a bond amongst them and eventually mutual respect, Where there is respect, there is no room for any Abuse.
The United Nations also observes an International day for Elders on 1st October every year to recognize and applaud the contribution of the elders to society.
Themes recognized by The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) to bring about awareness are :
- “Lifting Up Voices” in the year 2019.
- “Moving from Awareness to Action through a Human Rights-based approach” in the year 2018.
- “Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older people. A human Rights issue” in the year 2017.
Let us be more protective and respectful of our elders. We should help elders find respect and love in society. Our homes are happy and cheerful when it is a combination of the blessing and learning from the elders and the mindfulness, respect and love for their elders.
Elders living in communities and institutes go through more Abuse than the ones living in the society. Let us keep a check on such elder people living around us. Let us be their source of strength and make them more aware of their human rights. In case of need, these things come in very handy and helpful.
Let us focus on binge more respectful and loving than being abusive. WE are there today because THEY were there for us in our yesterdays.