World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is honored each year on June 15. The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is asking the community to wear purple on that day to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
“We associate the color purple with dignity, respect, and royalty,” explains Sherry Young, AAASWFL Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator. “And those are often the same words we use when describing how to treat our elders. Wearing purple on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is another reminder of how we need to treat our seniors with respect and dignity.”
Elder abuse impacts millions of people around the world each year. The National Council on Aging estimates that one in ten Americans age 60 and over have experienced some kind of elder abuse, and the U.S. Administration for Community living states that older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually due to financial abuse and material exploitation. Other forms of include emotional or psychological abuse, neglect and self-neglect, and physical and sexual abuse.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was established in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The goal of WEAAD is to promote a better understanding of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons.
AAASWFL provides informational seminars on elder abuse recognition, prevention, and reporting. To schedule a presentation for your group, call the AAASWFL Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).
The organization will also be participating in a number of elder abuse awareness events in June. On Friday, June 8, AAASWFL will provide elder abuse education and prevention information at the Lehigh Acres Senior Citizens Center from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The Lehigh Senior Center is located at 219 Plaza Dr. AAASWFL will also participate at a WEAAD event at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center in Cape Coral on Friday, June 15 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. The Lake Kennedy Center is located at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.
The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. AAASWFL is the state’s designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida. The organization is committed to helping adults ages 60 and over and people with disabilities to live with independence and dignity in their own homes and communities. More information is available at www.aaaswfl.org or by calling the toll-free Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).