World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Tuesday, June 15th, was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations to address elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.

“Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person,” (World Health Organization, 2020).


The prevalence of elder abuse has made it necessary for the World Health Organization to identify as a public health problem. Nearly 1 in 6 elders, ages 60 and over, have experienced some form of abuse in the past year. According to the World Health Organization, this is perceived to be an underestimation as only 1 in 24 cases are reported.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a call-to-action to the community in addressing the public health issue. Noticing the warning signs and taking proper action to help victims is crucial (National Council on Aging, 2021). 


According to the National Council on Aging, signs of abuse for older adult victims include:


  • Physical signs: unexplained injuries, dehydration or weight loss, missing daily living aids, bedsores and unattended medical needs.
  • Emotional and behavioral signs: increased fear and anxiety, social isolation, abnormal withdrawal from daily activities and more.
  • Financial signs: fraudulent signatures on financial documents, unpaid bills, and unusual or sudden changes in financial situations or patterns.

Protecting our aging communities means understanding what elder abuse is and recognizing the warning signals of when it is occurring. ACASA Senior Care of Henderson is dedicated to providing in-home care services to meet the needs of all older adults, including spreading awareness in support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.