Lanark Heights acknowledges World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15

Team members spent the day promoting awareness and educating peers about the importance of WEAAD
7/16/2021  - Deron Hamel

The interdisciplinary teams at Lanark Heights spent June 15 promoting awareness and education focused on the prevention of elder abuse in recognition of the 16th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

Every year on WEAAD, the Kitchener, Ont. long-term care community’s interdisciplinary teams host discussions and distribute printed material to raise awareness of elder abuse.

Purple is the official colour of WEAAD. Team members wore purple T-shirts that read “I did it” and “We made a difference” in reference to their being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“The Lanark Heights team felt that by making a difference and getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, we were all doing our part to help protect the seniors at Lanark Heights and our own families as well,” explains Hildy Nickel, the administrator at Lanark Heights.

Elder abuse can come in many forms, including physical, emotional and financial, as well as neglect and abandonment.

“Elder abuse can be defined as 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,” the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Ageing says on its website.

“It 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.”

According to the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA), between seven and 10 per cent of older Canadians are the victims of elder abuse.

Globally, CNPEA says an estimated one in six seniors have experienced elder abuse.

“The basic human rights of older Canadians are challenged and undercut every day and, tragically, this has never been more true than over the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CNPEA says on its website.

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