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Blog | World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - There's No Excuse for Abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - There's No Excuse for Abuse

9/6/2015 - Guest Blogger, Marilyn Crabtree, CEO of ARAS

aras logoARAS - For the Rights of Older People

Thousands of older people have been assisted by the Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) to have a stronger voice and have their rights upheld through advocacy support.

We recently celebrated 25 years of service, working for the rights of older people using aged care services in Aged Care Facilities, Community Care, Retirement Villages or where they are at risk of abuse by someone they should be able to trust.

Now ARAS wants everyone to get involved in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15th and mark the day by bringing people together to spread the message ‘There's no Excuse for Abuse!'

Although it hits the headlines every few months elder abuse is often a hidden problem because older people can be reluctant to seek help.

However over 600 older people every year contact ARAS for assistance to speak up about what is happening to them and to regain control of their lives. For example Jack contacted ARAS when his son bullied him into giving him money which was never repaid; Mary when her daughter moved into her home and would not contribute to the household costs.

We have many examples where older people have got control over their affairs again and have been able to retain their relationship with their family. One of the key things we do is make sure that older people know their rights and that assistance is available.

In an effort to draw attention to abuse of older people the United Nations has designated June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

It is a day to promote "there's no excuse for abuse" and to let older people know in the community that they have a right to be and feel safe. Abuse can happen to anyone of us. It usually occurs from someone with whom we have a trusting relationship such as family or friends.

This day, WEAAD, is a reminder that your rights remain as you get older and include a right to maintain personal independence, be treated with dignity and respect, live without exploitation, abuse or neglect, be and feel safe.

It is vital to raise community awareness of abuse prevention so ARAS has developed a Community Activity Starter Kit to encourage people to join together to hold an event.

Stand up and speak out about abuse of older people and demonstrate your support. Let older people in our communities know they have rights, including a right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.

weaad posterPaint the town purple

  • Have a morning tea with purple cupcakes and talk about elder abuse.
  • Wear something purple on the day. WEAAD is represented by the colour purple which denotes wisdom, dignity, independence and creativity.
  • Plan a walk to raise awareness in your community.

Perhaps your activity could get the interest of your local press!

If your group or your organisation is interested in raising awareness of elder abuse, you can download the kit from our website at www.sa.agedrights.asn.au or give us a call. Don't forget to register your activity with ARAS so we can send your Certificate!

ARAS is a free, confidential, state-wide service. To speak to an advocate, book a guest speaker for your group, or order publications please call 8232 5377 or 1800 700 600 for country callers.