Local effort to raise awareness
about elder abuse and neglect in our community
Mid-East Area Agency on Aging (MEAAA) is observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This year’s theme is One person. One action. One Nation. United against elder abuse.
Did you know that every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the US alone? That trend is going to continue for nearly the next 20 years. Our demographics are shifting, and we will soon have more elder people in the US than ever before. At the same time that the population is growing, we know that a startling number of elders face abusive conditions. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
This day serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD is in support of the UN’s International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. Participants include organizations and governmental bodies at international, national, regional, local, community and neighborhood levels, in every continent in the world.
The color purple symbolizes the growing problem of elder abuse around the world. Each year, we ask Missourians to wear purple on June 15th to show our support in the worldwide effort to prevent elder abuse.
No community or country in the world is immune from the mistreatment of older adults. In Missouri, during fiscal year 2013, the Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) received and investigated 31,023 reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation involving seniors and adults with disabilities living in the community and in facilities. This a average of 85 reports every day.
With your support, we can increase awareness of elder abuse.
To report adult abuse, neglect or exploitation, call the DHSS toll free hotline (1-800-392-0210), 7:00 AM to 12:00 Midnight, seven days a week. Relay Missouri 1-800-735-2466. For more information on this issue, visit the DHSS website at http://health.mo.gov/seniors/abuse.php
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