Hawaii to Observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Hawaii will join communities across the globe in observing June 15, 2013, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), which recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day encourages the people of Hawaii to recognize our kupuna as an integral part of island lifeand deserving of their rights to safety and dignity,” said Gov. Abercrombie, who has issued a proclamation making the observance official in the islands. “Elder members of our community link us to our history, culture and genealogy. We all have a role to play in protecting these valued members of our society by remaining vigilant and connected to those living within our communities and networks.”

First observed in 2006, the day supports the United Nations International Plan of Action and is an annual event vital to creating awareness of elder abuse.

This year’s theme is “My World… Your World… Our World- Free of Elder Abuse.” Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons are largely under recognized or treated as an unspoken problem. Unfortunately, no community is immune from this public health and human rights crisis.

According to The National Elder Mistreatment Study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010, 7.6 -10 percent of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year. The Metlife Study of Elder Financial Abuse reports the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion dollars, a 12 percent increase from $2.6 billion estimated in 2008. Affinity Fraud Presentations The

State of Hawaii Executive Office on Aging partnered with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in offering  presentations at local senior centers that educate kupuna about protecting themselves from “Affinity Fraud.”

These educational sessions are designed for seniors as well as the general population and are available throughout the year. For more information, contact the Executive Office on Aging at (808) 586-0100 or a local Area Agency on Aging by visiting the Aging and Disability Resource Center at www.hawaiiadrc.org.

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