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Are you aware of elder abuse?

According to the World Health Organisation, between 4 to 6 percent of older people worldwide have experienced some form of abuse in their own homes, many of which are unreported. The UN has designated June 15th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The day aims to bring worldwide attention to the problems of elder abuse, which can take various forms, such as emotional, physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuse. The UN estimates that the global population of people aged 60 and over will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025.

In the UK, charities such as Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) and Age UK focus on the care and welfare of older people. AEA has a direct helpline for advice and support for victims and witnesses of abuse.

By being aware of the signs of abuse to look out for in an older person, it may be possible to prevent someone from being inflicted with serious physical injuries, long-term psychological consequences and even a premature death.

Someone who is experiencing abuse may not always be forthcoming about their problems, especially if the abuser is someone close to them.

For more on elder abuse, signs of abuse, reporting abuse and support networks available for older people, see the information available on our website.

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