World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: With COVID-19 and the lockdowns, the elderly among us have become even more vulnerable to abuse, violence and lack of care. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, observed on June 15, aims to address the issues of abuse and lack of care faced by the elderly. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people across the world. Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. It is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries,” UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said in his message on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Rates of elder abuse – a global issue affecting millions of older people worldwide – have increased during the pandemic.
On Tuesday’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I urge increased prevention & response measures to protect and uphold the health & human rights of older people.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 15, 2021
Older persons often face discrimination in life-saving therapies during the pandemic. The pandemic also forced healthcare agencies to prioritize when critical services not related to COVID-19 is concerned. The pandemic has also hit the incomes and economic conditions of the elderly.
“Violence, abuse and neglect of older persons have been brought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older persons are rights holders whose dignity and rights do not have an expiration date in later life,” says UN expert on the rights of elderly people Claudia Mahler said.