If the general public worldwide was asked the question, “What are your thoughts on elder abuse?” the answers would be as diverse as are people and cultures. The general response, however, is likely to be one of either denial or condemnation:
“It doesn’t happen here.”
“Families are not caring for their elderly.”
“Society in general doesn’t value the older person.”
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is held annually on June 15th and represents "the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations." [UN-Ageing]
Although awareness may be improving around the world, elder abuse continues to be poorly investigated in national studies on violence and is one of the least addressed societal and public health issues in national action plans.
What can individuals do to address this often under-reported and overlooked human rights issue? To see empowerment in action, read this story of Malong Pitsi, an elder rights activist from Losotho. She is an inspiration to us all!