World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
15 June 2018 by Andrea Godfrey
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). On the 15th June each year, people of the world come together with one aim – to send out a message that abuse of an older person will not be tolerated.
Elder abuse can come in many forms such as physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. The elderly population are particularly vulnerable to abuse generally because of frailty and the inability to defend themselves. There are also cases where they are dependent on the abuser for their care etc so they simply accept the abuse because of their fear of having no-one to care for them.
WEAAD was created by a United Nations resolution in 2011 to raise awareness of elder abuse and to get the message across that there are many organisation that can help in cases where it is spotted that an elderly person is suffering from abuse.
The most common yet often overlooked form of abuse that the legal profession assist with is that of financial abuse. This can be where a relative or friend is syphoning money from the elder person, suggesting they transfer assets such as a house into their name or even forcing them to change their Will to benefit the abuser. With the increase in illnesses such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s the abuse is sadly becoming more frequent.
The Wills, Life Planning & Probate team at Fisher Jones Greenwood are trained to recognise the warning signs of elderly abuse. We are specialists in advising older and vulnerable clients on legal matters. We are able to deal with both mental and physical difficulties which can affect vulnerable clients but at the same time respect their dignity and act with care and sensitivity. We also offer home visits at no extra cost in cases where clients may feel more comfortable seeing a solicitor at home. We have achieved these exceptional qualities by being Dementia Friends, attending various community support groups for the elderly and also membership of Solicitors for the Elderly (“SFE”) who train solicitors in older client care.
As part of the campaign for WEEAD, Action for Elder Abuse are encouraging people to make a promise so:
The PROMISE I make today to older people
And to the future generations who follow them
Today, tomorrow and forever
For you. And for me.
to prevent and stop elder abuse wherever I can
to never knowingly break the trust of an older person
to learn as much as possible about elder abuse
I promise to educate work colleagues, friends and family about elder abuse