World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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2024 Date15 June 2024
2025 Date15 June 2025

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day History

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a significant global event that seeks to raise awareness about the abuse and neglect faced by the elderly population. Its main objective is to proactively address the unconscionable acts inflicted upon senior citizens, such as maltreatment, physical and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and abandonment. This international observance is a direct response to the increasing number of old-aged individuals subjected to such indignities, and it aims to foster the creation of protective strategies for the elderly.

The United Nations General Assembly formally recognized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in its December 2011 resolution following their observation of increasing elder abuse cases worldwide. India, with its large population of senior citizens, is no stranger to this grim reality. The pressing need to provide support to this vulnerable group has made this observance particularly relevant to the country. As a society that traditionally venerates its elders, it is crucial for India to actively participate in such initiatives and work towards ensuring the safety and protection of the aging population.

In line with global efforts, various activities and events are organized across India to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. These events typically involve the participation of both government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and may include awareness campaigns, seminars, panel discussions, and workshops to address the challenges faced by the elderly. The intent behind these initiatives is to sensitize the society to the issues of elder abuse and mobilize individuals and communities to stand united against such atrocities. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed in India on the 15th of June each year.

Facts about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 1 in 6 older adults worldwide experienced some form of elder abuse in the past year.
  • Women tend to be more at risk of elder abuse than men. This is due to factors such as longer life expectancy, higher likelihood of living alone, and a higher prevalence of widowhood among older women.
  • It is estimated that only about 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities. Factors that contribute to underreporting include fear, shame, dependence on the abuser, cognitive impairments, and lack of awareness or accessible reporting mechanisms.
  • According to a study conducted by HelpAge India in 2020, about 56% of elderly people in Indian households experience abuse in some form, with verbal abuse being the most common type.
  • Elder abuse remains largely underreported in India, primarily because of cultural values, family honor, and lack of awareness about the issue. Moreover, elders are often hesitant to report abuse due to fear of retaliation or being abandoned by their families.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Check out 10 priorities focused on health and ageing.
  • Learn more about the UN's Decade of Healthy Ageing.
  • Watch a documentary to learn about the issue of elder abuse in India. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Elder Abuse in Indian Families. Directed by Navin Chandra, this documentary showcases various instances of elder abuse in Indian families and highlights the lack of support systems for the elderly.
    2. India's Invisible Elders. A deep and emotional exploration of the plight of elderly individuals in India, focusing on issues of abuse, neglect, and isolation in old age homes.
    3. Elderly Abuse in India. Directed by Elizabeth Shelley, this documentary focuses on the prevalence of elder abuse in India, exploring its various forms and preventative measures.
  • Read a book to learn about the issue of elder abuse in India. Here are our top picks:
    1. Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly in India by A.B. Dey
    2. Elder Abuse and its Impact on Quality of Life of Older People: An Indian Study by Sharad Philip
    3. Disadvantaged Elders: Abuse, Neglect and Abandonment in Indian Old Age Homes by Balbir Kaur

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