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 to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons.
Unfortunately, no one is immune to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It occurs in every demographic, and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. Yet it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes is ever discovered.
Raising awareness of mistreatment of older persons is an ongoing effort, not limited to one day. OOIE encourages you to get involved to help protect vulnerable senior citizens living in nursing home by becoming a volunteer advocate.
Becoming a volunteer advocate is one way to combat elder abuse and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of elderly residents living in a nursing home. Volunteer advocates receive 32 hours of training and are asked to spend four hours a week at a local nursing home, listening to residents’ concerns and advocating on their behalf. To become a volunteer, call the OOIE Volunteer Advocate Program at 609-826-5053.
As Ombudsman McCracken always says, “The need is clearly there — will you answer the call? “