East Hawaii News

Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 12, 2013, 6:01 PM HST
* Updated June 12, 6:02 PM
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On Saturday, Hawaii will join communities across the globe in observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The event recognizes the significance of elder abuse as an issue of public health and human rights.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected and exploited each year.

In addition, elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation — money that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.

And only about one in five of those crimes is ever discovered, federal officials said.

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day encourages the people of Hawaii to recognize our kupuna as an integral part of island life and deserving of their rights to safety and dignity,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said as he issued a proclamation making the observance official in the islands.

“Elder members of our community link us to our history, culture and genealogy. We all have a role to play in protecting these valued members of our society by remaining vigilant and connected to those living within our communities and networks.”

First observed in 2006, this theme for this year’s awareness day is “My World … Your World … Our World-Free of Elder Abuse.”

According to the American Journal of Public Health, in 2010 up to 10% of elderly involved in a study experienced abuse in the prior year.

For more information, contact the Executive Office on Aging at (808) 586-0100 or a local Agency on Aging by visiting the Aging and Disability Resource Center at www.hawaiiadrc.org.

Visit here for information from the federal government on elder abuse.

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