World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

elderly woman putting a puzzle together with another woman

World Elder Abuse Awareness Dayworld elder abuse awareness logo


Every June 15, supporters of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) around the globe wear purple to show they care about ending elder abuse and neglect.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected and exploited. Elders throughout the U.S. lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. This day provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or "trusted" individual that causes (or potentially causes) harm to an older adult.

It’s on us to stop elder abuse. Know the signs.

  • Decisions about an older person’s life are not in their best interest
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Unusual changes in spending or money management
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unhealthy or unsafe living conditions

Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races.

If you answer "no" to any of the following then it's time to speak to someone about your safety.
  • I am treated with respect by those closest to me
  • I know how my money is being spent
  • I choose what happens in my home
  • Decisions about my life are in my best interest
  • My will reflects my wishes
  • I know where my medication is

What should I do if I suspect Elder Abuse?

REPORT YOUR CONCERNS Remember: Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don't assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation.

In cases of immediate danger, call 911. In Marathon, Lincoln and Langlade counties, you can call Adult Protective Services of North Central Health Care at 715.841.5160 or Toll-Free 1.855.487.3338 to talk over questions or concerns..

For help outside this area, please call and Eldercare Locator at 1.800.677.1116 to be connected with your local reporting agency.

Learn more about the Red Flags of Abuse.