Sunday is the 3rd Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, launched three years ago by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

The purpose is to raise awareness of the issue of elder abuse and to encourage the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to prevent elder abuse and ensure quality of long-term care for older people.

Studies show that 4% of older people living in private households and 30% of older people in institutions are victims of elder abuse. Elder abuse can take various forms: physical, psychological or emotional, sexual, financial or neglect. Inadequate care is more often related to the incapacity of overburdened and stressed carers to cope with the increasing demands posed on them, rather than a real intent to exploit or harm vulnerable older people.

An example of what is possible is demonstrated by IAHSA member The Hebrew Home at Riverdale in NY, USA. They created the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Research, the first comprehensive elder abuse center in the US. The Center provides a coordinated system of crisis intervention that includes an emergency residential shelter and community based services for victims of elder abuse; a broad spectrum of community education and training programs to increase professional knowledge; a national replication training program; and a research component to profile victims.

Share with us other examples of innovative approaches for dealing with this terrible problem. And mark Sunday 15 June as ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY.