15th June 2017 is World Elder Abuse Day – a reminder to the world, organised by the United Nations.
Every day older people are subject to financial, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect in the UK and across the planet. The abuse can be hidden well in our own homes, care homes, day centres and institutions. It isn’t just physical violence, it can be psychological, which is often very subtle and even the person being abused cannot recognise it. Bank accounts can be drained, pension payments misused. Basic hygiene and nutrition needs can be ignored. Many older people are vulnerable and don’t have a voice. Even if they know what is happening is wrong they do not know who to turn to or how to get help.
Charities such as Age UK, police forces and social support teams in the UK today are working to raise awareness of these issues in the hope that professionals such as social workers, doctors, health professionals, lawyers, community workers and most importantly family, friends and neighbours can identify when abuse is happening and report it. For those who continue to live under the shadow of abuse the consequences can be catastrophic.
If you believe someone you know has been or is being abused then do something about it today.