June 15 has been designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the United Nations. Virtually all countries are expected to see substantial growth in the number of older persons up to 2030, and that growth will be faster in developing regions. Because the numbers of older persons are growing, the amount of elder abuse can be expected to grow with it. While the taboo topic of elder abuse has started to gain visibility across the world, it remains one of the least investigated types of violence in national surveys, and one of the least addressed in national action plans.
Elder abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.
The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations. Here are some key factors:
• Around 1 in 6 older people experienced some form of abuse in the past year.
• Rates of abuse may be higher for older people living in institutions than in the community.
• Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
• Elder abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
• The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.