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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: What We Have Learned

June 3, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

elder abuse awarenessWorld Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15 raises awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. This is more important than ever as cases of elder abuse have increased significantly during the pandemic. Abuser tactics—isolation, manipulation, and systemic barriers (such as ageism and racism)—put older adults at greater risk for harm.

One common tactic scammers use is to pose as Social Security employees. They may claim the older person’s Social Security number is linked to a crime. Feeling isolated and frightened, the scammers get the older person to provide them money or vital personal information that they then can use to exploit them financially. Social Security offers guidance and reporting assistance to help prevent this form of elder abuse. If you or someone you know is a target of one of these scams, we encourage you to report it on the Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General website.

WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities. We can fight the neglect and exploitation of our elder citizens in a number of ways, such as:

  • Rely on credible resources such as the Elder Care Locator (1-800-677-1116) to find help in your area—such as meal delivery, transportation, or credible phone reassurance programs.
  • Call on faith leaders to connect with survivors—as many older adults look to faith as a source of strength, resilience, and connection.

Please join us on June 9, 2021 at noon ET. for a national conversation along with our partners at the Administration for Community Living, Elder Justice Initiative at the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Social Security, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This webinar will highlight prominent elder justice issues and resources to strengthen the elder justice movement as we rebuild from the pandemic. Attendees will learn about tools and tips to enhance their elder abuse outreach and response efforts—and strategies to spark community engagement. Learn more and register today.

When we can see ourselves in a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, then we can envision a world where elder abuse no longer exists. This WEAAD we can stand together with this common purpose. Please share this with your friends and family—and post it on social media.


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About the Author

Julie Schoen, Deputy Director of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

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    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

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    In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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