June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

Introduced in 2006 by The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and officially recognized by the United Nations (UN), World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is observed every year by communities across the globe on June 15th.

The UN defines elder abuse as harm to an adult, 60 years of age or older, caused by an act (or the failure to act) initiated by a caregiver or another trusted person. This could be a friend, family member, care aide or another member of one’s community. 1 in 6 older adults across the world experience elder abuse, yet the issue is seldom acknowledged or discussed. Individuals who experience elder abuse may feel unable to speak out due to fear or stigma.

In Canada, the tagline associated with WEAAD 2024 is ‘bOLD: Age with Attitude.’ Individuals are asked to consider wearing purple, the official colour associated with WEAAD, to show their support for this important day.

We all have a part to play in the prevention of elder abuse. Reminding the elders in our community they are seen and valued can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and help encourage them to speak up if they are experiencing elder abuse.


For more information about what elder abuse is and how to prevent it, visit the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA).

If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, contact the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL), operated by Seniors First BC, at 604-437-1940, or toll-free at 1-866-437-1940. Seniors First BC is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping and protecting BC seniors. In addition to operating the SAIL helpline, Seniors First BC runs legal programs and victim services programs for seniors, as well as participates in extensive public outreach and education about elder abuse and seniors’ rights.

Additional resources are available on our website. You can also find information about events taking place across the province this WEAAD from the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCCRNs), explore publications on healthy aging from the WHO, and learn more about the history of elder abuse from the UN.

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