As the world observes world elder abuse day, today June 15, 2021, the need to protect and respect the aged and elderly has been strongly emphasized.
The world elder abuse day is marked every year on June 15, in order to create strong awareness as well as educating society about the abuses suffered by senior citizens and the elderly in different parts of the world.
The theme for this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is “Access to Justice” this is meant to serve as a strong reminder of how critical it is to completely meet the needs of older people who may seek remedy, whenever they face such abuses.
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) established the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and has been in existence since 2006.
It was declared as a day for the elimination of elder abuse by the United Nations in 2011. Due to fear and taboo, elderly individuals hardly speak out about the mistreatments they receive from family members, especially from their children, until recently.
This year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day takes on further relevance amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As it’s known, after the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic, experts have recommended the elderly (those over the age of 60) be more attentive in taking the laid down precautionary measures against the deadly virus because they are more vulnerable to it.
The World Health Organization in research, states that as the epidemic progressed, ill-treatment of the elderly has grown considerably.
WHO and other UN-affiliated organisations have asked for an immediate action plan to fight and discourage the abuse of the elderly
Elder abuse comes in different forms, and according to specialists, it could be physical, verbal, sexual, financial, or even significant neglect of an aged person by relatives, especially close family members.
The Significance of observing this day cannot be overemphasized as the mistreatment of the elderly is one of the world’s least addressed issues. Nonetheless, as time passes, this problem is receiving more attention.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is designated as a day when people all over the world unite to speak out against senior abuse. It is good to note that it is a global societal issue that not only impacts older people’s health but also undermines the dignity of millions of elderly adults.
Older people who have been victims of violence, abuse or neglect sometimes, confront several impediments to seeking legal redress. So, hence this years’ theme ‘Access to Justice’ to influence the capacity of older people to fully enjoy all their fundamental human rights, such as the right to health, appropriate social security, and to live peacefully and happily in society, as getting old is not a crime.