WEAAD Webinar
  • June 17, 2024
  • AD Staff Writer
  • News

Caring for the Vulnerable: Raising Awareness of Abuse

Raising awareness is crucial in ending abuse, particularly when addressing sensitive issues like elder abuse. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), observed on June 15, 2024, has been proclaimed by the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, following a motion by Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Hilda Solis. This motion, adopted on June 4, also designates June as Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month.

On that same day, Aging & Disabilities outreach staff engaged with the public at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, providing detailed information about their extensive programs, particularly those related to Adult Protective Services (APS). Throughout June, WEAAD events are being held at Community and Senior Centers.

APS staff also distribute vital information to law enforcement agencies, local banks, and other community partners in Los Angeles County. This outreach aims to educate these entities on the types of abuse, how to recognize them, and the procedures for reporting abuse.

WEAAD, initiated by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) at the United Nations (UN), aims to shed light on the abuse and neglect of older persons. It considers the cultural, social, economic, and demographic factors contributing to such abuse.

Aging & Disabilities hosted a special webinar on June 11, 2024, to assist residents in identifying and reporting different types of abuse to the appropriate APS agency. This webinar provided a valuable opportunity for community members, caregivers, and professionals to learn how to protect loved ones from neglect and other forms of abuse. Presenters discussed available resources and explained how various programs can prevent abuse, respond to it, and help individuals escape and recover from it.

Dr. Laura Trejo, Director of the Aging & Disabilities Department, emphasized the significance of WEAAD, stating, “Millions of older persons and individuals with disabilities around the globe continue to be victimized by abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In a society that values just treatment for all, WEAAD reminds us that abuse of older adults affects everyone and emphasizes the need for appropriate solutions.”

In 2023, APS responded to over 59,000 referrals concerning the abuse of older and dependent adults in Los Angeles County, with these numbers rising annually. Abuse can take various forms, including assault, neglect, isolation, abandonment, and exploitation.

Ignoring the abuse of older or dependent adults is not an option. We must ensure that these individuals—our family members, friends, and neighbors—maintain their quality of life safely, with dignity and respect.

If you missed the webinar, you can view it here.

In honor of WEAAD, the Los Angeles International Airport pylons were illuminated in purple on June 15.

For more information, visit https://ad.lacounty.gov/services/adult-protective-services/
WEAAD Outreach

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