WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY is being observed for the first time this year, 15 June 2012, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for stronger legal measures to ensure human rights and dignity for our seniors.
Statistical estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) should give rise for greater concern. Between four and six percent of seniors worldwide have suffered neglect or violence in their homes or elder care institutions. “This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect.”
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a first step to greater awareness of the value of our seniors. In many traditional cultures, elders are not only respected, they are revered and emulated for their wisdom and experience. In Western Societies, our aging parents and friends need more companionship and our most meaningful gift for them -- TIME.
Scientific advancements in medicine and technology are enabling our elders to live longer lives. For seniors with lessened physical mobility, digital media has made communication among friends and the world at large through internet platforms a dynamic lifeline for participation.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon notes, “A modern civilization can only live up to that name if it preserves the tradition of honouring, respecting and protecting society’s elders.” My personal adage “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Our parents, aging friends, relatives, and seniors at large are our greatest gifts. Their advanced years do not diminish but instead enhance OUR wisdom and life’s experiences.
--- By, Susan Sacirbey
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