North East Beds MP and The Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt has backed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD):
He said: “Every older person deserves to live out their life in health and security. Yet, every year, thousands of older people are denied that most basic right because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, focuses attention to this global public health issue.
“ Victims of elder abuse are parents and grandparents, neighbours and friends. Elder abuse cuts across race, gender, culture, and circumstance, and whether physical, emotional, or financial, it takes an unacceptable toll on individuals and families across our country. Seniors who experience abuse or neglect face a heightened risk of health complications and premature death, while financial exploitation can rob men and women of the security they have built over a lifetime. Tragically, many older people suffer in silence, burdened by fear, shame, or impairments that prevent them from speaking out about abuse.
“We owe it to older people to expose elder abuse wherever we find it and take action to bring it to an end. Together, all of us can play a role in addressing this crisis.”
This year, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) is launching a UK-wide campaign calling for elder abuse to be made an aggravated criminal offence, similar to offences that are racially or religiously motivated. The charity is pushing for statutory minimum sentences for perpetrators, which courts may extend when necessary, as well as a requirement for mandatory reporting of suspected elder abuse.