Introduced in 2006 by the World Health Organization and International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) brings together communities in Texas, around the country and throughout the world to increase understanding of elder abuse.
WEAAD serves as a global call-to-action for people to focus and commit to creating awareness and finding support and solutions to help combat elder abuse. Annually, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services joins the movement by hosting outreach and educational events statewide.
Be a Champion for Older Adults
- Promote dignity and respect by treating older adults with kindness and compassion.
- Prevent social isolation by engaging and learning how their life experiences have shaped future generations.
- Advocate and make a difference by getting involved. Find ways to help from DFPS.
Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can be physical, which may include unexplained injuries, burns and using unnecessary force, or emotional, which may include verbal threats of harm and intimidation. Neglect and self-neglect warning signs can include poor hygiene, lack of necessities and unsanitary living conditions.
Look for red flags like unexplained pregnancy and STDs for suspected sexual abuse. Be vigilant for behavioral indicators like fear, anxiety and disorientation.
Financial exploitation can lead to lack of independence and resources. Look for banking practice changes, checks made out to cash and unapproved ATM withdrawals. Learn more from DFPS Adult Protective Services.
Promote awareness on social media by wearing purple for the cause and posting about #WEAAD on social media accounts. It’s a great way to incorporate technology and engage youth to become ambassadors.
If you see or suspect elder abuse, call the 24/7 confidential Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or visit the Texas Abuse Hotline website.
Written by: Gustavo Salinas, DFPS APS Faith-Based and Community Engagement