Sunday, June 15, was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Every year an estimated five million, or one in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders.
Every day that Via is on the job is an elder abuse awareness day for us. Our drivers are trained to recognize signs of elder abuse as well as how to report their observations to the correct authorities.
In 2013, Via drivers in Brighton were recognized by the local senior center for their diligence in reporting several incidents of observed abuse of a regular rider on our paratransit service. Their careful documentation was important in helping the authorities take action against the abuser and keep the older adult safe.
Because protecting elders begins at home, we encourage you to educate yourself and be prepared to take a stand against elder abuse.
The National Center on Elder Abuse provides a wealth of resources on being aware of and preventing abuse.
Locally, the Elder Rights Program of Boulder County offers education, training and reporting information on elder abuse.