On June 15, 2006 the United Nations with help from the World Health Organization and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, created World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This day was created so that individuals, organizations, and communities are aware and concerned with seniors rights. Members of these organizations believe that elder abuse, as prominent as it is around the world, goes unrecognized and unreported in most cases.
Why create an entire day to elder abuse?
Abuse and neglect plague nearly 1/10 seniors each year within our nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But only 1/14 of these cases is actually reported to the proper hotlines and authorities. The severity of the elder abuse epidemic has hit near all time highs. With more and more seniors entering homes each year, and an aging senior population here in the United States, raising awareness through days like WEAAD are important steps in preventing the fight against nursing home abuse.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Signs of elder abuse can be very difficult to detect. In some instances, bedsores or infections on your loved ones body can be difficult to see. While most cases of abuse are physical, seniors can also be exploited financially as well. The major signs to keep an eye out for are:
- Check to see if your loved one has been properly hydrated and feed appropriately.
- Always ask your loved one if they are being bathed, and properly cared for.
- Unexplained injuries or bruises on the body can be a direct result of nursing home abuse as well.
- Watch out for your seniors behavior, any aggressive changes may be a sign that your senior is being abused.
The Goal of WEAAD
It’s important that we educate ourselves on the severity of nursing home abuse. The message must be spread about this ongoing epidemic in this country and around the world. We must educate ourselves on the dangers and pain this type of abuse inflicts on patients and family members as well. Raising awareness going forward is the main goal for WEAAD. After the 7th successful year of running a WEAAD, more people are becoming aware about this ignored problem which plagues our most fragile loved ones.