World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
We need everyone to educate each other about the impact of elder abuse and the pervasiveness of ageism (biases against older people) in our culture. We all deserve to lead happy lives, free from abuse as we age. Through outreach and statewide engagement, we can raise this social issue to a worldwide priority that must be addressed and prevented. Take action today!
- Make a commitment to volunteer this year! Get some ideas about where you can help older people.
- Email or conduct physical mailings to circulate this Scam Checklist so that it reaches older people in your community! Encourage them to keep it by their phone to remind them of what to look out for!
- Give a caregiver a break! Caregiving is hard work, and providing relief even for a few hours can really bring rejuvenation to those who are struggling. Connect them to local helplines and consider ways that you may be able to safely arrange delivery of groceries, medications, etc. Find out more about caregiving. Also, be sure to safely engage in physical distancing and hygiene practices.
- Ask your church or organization to add information about elder abuse to their newsletters and televised events! Get some ideas for faith communities or read our Faith Community Guide.
- Arrange an internet or phone-based presentation to local community centers, schools, assisted living facilities, or other virtual and moderated discussion board based platforms about WEAAD! Use our Power Point template. You can also arrange printing, mailing and distribution of an educational placemat with local businesses or by using vendors online.
- Create a virtual event using social networking platforms and free teleconferencing and videoconferencing technologies! Get ideas about where to start here, but also find flyers, PSAs, and other resources in our World Day Tool Kit!
- Share with your friends and family via social media about WEAAD and spread awareness! Find sample Facebook posts and Tweets as well a logo and banners to use.
- Send a press release (use our sample)!
- Safely get involved with organizations that focus on advocacy while practicing physical distancing. Search for elder justice groups and organizations here on the Elder Justice Locator.
- Ask your teacher to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 by virtually educating students on the signs of elder abuse!
- Create a virtual or mail in art, essay, or poem contest for kids about the value and respect of older people!
- Have your sorority or fraternity do a service project by mail or social networking sites to help older people. Arrange through your college or university a friendly caller program, or send cards and letters through your mail carrier to nursing homes or home bound isolated older people in our neighborhoods.
- Encourage our teens to start a social media campaign to promote dignity and support for older people.
Join a virtual event! See what events are happening in your community. If there are none so far, consider starting one, or contact your local Area Agency on Aging to see what local coalitions are doing while we all follow our local shelter in place orders.