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AARP Florida Joins Conversation on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15

Posted on 06/06/23 by AARP Florida

Each year on June 15, AARP Florida recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) by participating in events across the state that share resources, spread awareness, and help prevent elder abuse. This year, AARP Florida is joining the Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic in Tallahassee for an educational roundtable and resource fair to recognize WEAAD on June 15. For more information and to attend in-person, click here. To live-stream the program, click here.

“AARP Florida is proud to participate in educational opportunities held on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day each year. Older Americans are frequently the targets for various forms of abuse,” said AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson. “We can help prevent elder abuse by building stronger social structures to support caregivers and the people they care for.”

WEAAD was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. WEAAD 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 impacting elder abuse and neglect.

It’s estimated that more than 10% of seniors over the age of 65 experience some form of elder abuse each year. Based on Florida’s population data collected by the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, this would equate to more than 450,000 Floridians aged 65 and older being abused annually. While these numbers are staggering, the true scope of elder abuse in Florida is uncertain due to the underreporting of cases, coupled with a lack of statewide data collection. As of December 2022, Florida ranks 26th out of the U.S. in terms of best elder abuse protections.

AARP Florida remains committed to working with state agencies and policymakers to improve Florida’s elder abuse data collection and transparency processes. One recent example of this commitment can be seen in AARP’s support of SB 1540 during Florida’s 2023 Legislative Session, which removes several barriers for local officials in identifying and analyzing fatal incidents of elder abuse.

AARP encourages every Floridian to join the fight against elder abuse by raising awareness, learning to recognize red flags of abuse, and reporting known or suspected cases of elder abuse to law enforcement and Florida’s Abuse Hotline. If you are interested in learning about other ways to fight elder abuse, see AARP Florida Advocacy Volunteer opportunities. 

If you know or have reasonable cause to suspect that an older adult is being abused, neglected, exploited, please report your concerns to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.

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