The annual awareness day aims to lessen impact of abuse of elders.

Call to wise up, rise up against abuse of elders

Perth was painted purple for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 20, 2024

WORLD Elder Abuse Awareness Day was held on June 15 with a theme of ‘Wise Up, Rise Up Against Elder Abuse’.

The day is recognised annually, and has been designated by the United Nations since 2011 as an opportunity for people around the world to unite in voicing opposition to elder abuse and the suffering it inflicts upon victims.

Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that 15 per cent of Australians aged 65 years and over who live in the general community have experienced elder abuse.

The theme ‘Wise Up, Rise Up Against Elder Abuse’ will focus on how the community can support older Western Australians to find out more about elder abuse, recognise the signs, and where to access support and take action in their own lives and communities to prevent it from happening.

Buildings and landmarks across WA were lit up in the colour purple, the symbolic colour of the day, including the Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Matagarup Bridge, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Shipwrecks Museum, Karratha Red Earth Arts Precinct and the Kununurra Magistrates Court.

Additionally, the Purple Road installation at Parliament House launched earlier this week will mark a significant achievement with the community artwork reaching 100 metres.

The Purple Road is a collaborative initiative developed by the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre’s Older People’s Rights Service, with thousands of hand-crafted purple flowers representing an older person’s unique story.

For the second year in a row, the state government has also provided funding of up to $3000 to hold initiatives during the week of the annual day.

Events planned include information workshops, education seminars, morning teas and art projects to support local people to work together to identify and respond to elder abuse in their local community.

Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch said elder abuse was a significant issue in the community.
“It is a complex social, health and human rights issue experienced and carried out by people of all backgrounds.

“We can all ‘wise up’ by finding out more about elder abuse, how to recognise the signs, and where to access support. We can ‘rise up’ by taking the time to listen to older people in our lives about what is important to them, if they feel safe and valued, and take action to support them.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing elder abuse, please contact the WA Elder Abuse Helpline and Information Service on 1300 724 679.

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