World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 13, 2013

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 13, 2013
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Dave Cross

Dave Cross

Sgt. Dave Cross #1932 is the Media Relations Officer with the Halton Regional Police Service. His office is located at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville, ON.

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Elder abuse is a serious and growing problem that is totally inconsistent with the government’s vision of a province where seniors are safe, live with dignity and are treated with respect. Ontario is home to 1.5 million seniors and research indicates that currently four to ten percent (60,000 – 150,000) of them have experienced or are experiencing abuse of some kind.

Elder abuse, while always reprehensible, is not always a crime. Even when elder abuse is a criminal offence, seniors who are abused may not wish to report the incident to the police out of a sense of shame, or are unwilling to cause negative consequences for the loved one who has abused them.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

In Halton Region, 1 in 8 residents is a senior and that number is expected to grow to more than 82,000 by 2015. This year the Halton Elder Abuse Prevention Network in partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service, will be recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (W.E.A.A.D) on Thursday June 13th, by holding several events throughout the Region. Several Retirement Homes, Long Term Care facilities, Adult Day Programs, and Senior’s Centres will be participating by having Elder Abuse Awareness displays, refreshments, BBQ’s, a special “flash mob” at some locations and everyone will be wearing PURPLE, the color to signify W.E.A.A.D.

At 10:00 am on Thursday June 13th 2013 the seniors in select venues will be singing the song “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” which will be filmed and a montage of these video clips will be put on YOU-TUBE.

Some schools in Halton will also be participating by holding a “Spirit Day” at their school, staff and students will wear purple and do something special for a senior on June 13th.

For more information about any of the events please contact Constable Wendy Moraghan, Elder Services Coordinator for the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4747 ext. 5064 or wendy.moraghan@haltonpolice.ca

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