“Understand and End Financial Exploitation of Older People: A Human Rights Issue”
As the elder population around the world is on the rise, the number of cases of elder abuse is also increasing. Elder abuse is an important public health problem. A 2017 study estimated that globally 15.7% of people aged 60 years and older were abused or around 1 in 6 older people worldwide have been abused in the past year. India has around 104 million elderly and the number is expected to increase 173 million by 2026.
World Health Organization (WHO) describes elder abuse as a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect and such type of violence comes in the category of violation of human rights.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 15th June for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It is the day to make aware the people of whole world to raise their voices against abuse and sufferings given to some of our elders.
The theme for WEAAD 2017 is “Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue” and it shows the importance of preventing financial exploitation in the context of elder abuse. Older people have the right to a life of dignity in old age, free of all forms of abuse, including financial and material exploitation, which could lead to poverty, hunger, homelessness, compromised health and well-being, and even premature mortality.