Lutherans are the largest faith-based group serving seniors in the U.S. today, and approximately 20% of the senior residential living units among the top 100 non-profit senior providers in the U.S. are members of the Lutheran Services in America network. With two-thirds of our 307 members providing services to seniors, our network serves a tremendous number of people, and we thank and recognize the many people who have heard the call to serve and walk alongside older Americans.
Part of the work involves calling awareness to and addressing issues of abuse and neglect of seniors in our communities. 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. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
How Can I Be Involved?
Each year on or around June 15th, communities and municipalities around the world plan activities and programs to recognize WEAAD. The U.S. Administration on Aging encourages you to join others around the nation and world in observing WEAAD by carrying out activities such as:
- Developing an educational program or press conference;
- Volunteering to call or visit an isolated senior; or
- Submitting an editorial or press release to your local newspaper to create awareness of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Raising awareness of mistreatment of older persons is an ongoing effort, not limited to one day. There are many ways to become involved, from the simple yet meaningful, to planning events that require a little more commitment and time. Visit the "Join Us in the Fight Against Elder Abuse" section of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) website for more information and activity ideas for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Whether the effort is great or small, once a year or throughout, all of these efforts empower us to make long-lasting differences in the lives of vulnerable elders.
Resources and Links
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) has produced the Community Guide to Raise World Awareness on Adult Abuse Tool Kit. The Toolkit provides sample ideas and templates for activities and examples of materials, resources, proclamations, and messages. The Toolkit is available for free download at http://www.inpea.net.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) website contains many resources to help you find assistance, publications, data, information, and answers about elder abuse. For information and ideas about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, visit the “Awareness Materials” section of the website.
The AoA website is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of a wide variety of topics, programs, and services related to aging and the protection of elder rights, including information about "What Is Elder Abuse?"
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can assist you in contacting your local area agency on agency about volunteering to call or visit an isolated senior.
To learn more about Lutheran Services in America members and the LSA Senior Services group, visit http://lutheranservices.org/seniorservices.
Source: U.S.Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/elder_rights/EA_prevention/weaad.aspx