June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Hingham

June 7, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer

The Hingham Senior Center — now called the Hingham Center for Active Living — will host an awareness event on Thursday, June 15, at 12: 30 p.m. centering around World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world, including Hingham, 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.

During the event, Director of Elder Services Jennifer Young explained to the Select Board Tuesday night, she will provide a brief overview of the campaign with local statistics, the WEAAD proclamation signed by the Select Board last night proclaiming June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Hingham will be read, and purple smoke bombs or confetti cannons will be popped off in honor of this important occasion.

“The color purple is associated with royalty, dignity, and respect — the same words we should be using [related to] our elders,” Young said.

Those attending are asked to wear purple in support of elder abuse prevention and will be offered a piece of purple cake at the end of the event.

“The goal of WEAAD is to generate awareness of elder abuse and to create programs to help reduce risk,” according to Young.

“This will be the first year, to my knowledge, that the Hingham Senior Center will be recognizing the campaign. I plan to build on the event each year.”

According to the proclamation, the Town of Hingham recognizes the importance of “taking action to raise awareness and to prevent and address elder abuse,” noting that as the town’s population lives longer, the opportunity is presented “to think about our collective needs and future as a nation.”

The proclamation also acknowledges that it’s up to town government “to ensure that proper social structures exist so people can retain community and societal connections, reducing the likelihood of abuse and that preventing abuse of older adults through maintaining and improving social supports such as senior centers, human services, and transportation will allow [older residents] to continue to live as independently as possible and contribute to the life and vibrancy of our communities.”

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