WHO says 4-6% of the elderly suffer abuse

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between four to six per cent of the elderly worldwide suffer from a form of abuse physically, emotionally and financially.

A statement issued by the United Nations General Assembly copied to Ghana News Agency said such abuse was an unacceptable attack on human dignity and human rights and some of the cases often remained unreported and unaddressed.

It said emerging research suggested that abuse, neglect and violence against the elderly both at home and in institutions, were much more prevalent than currently acknowledged.

The statement said alarmed at this widening problem, the Assembly had proclaimed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a new observance to be marked annually on June 15.

It said respect for the elderly was an integral part of many societies as people lived longer and strive for sustainable and inclusive development, it was time to revive and expand the appreciation for those who had advanced in age.

“A modern civilization can only live up to that name if it preserves the tradition of honouring, respecting and protecting society’s elders,” it added.

Commemorating the maiden Day, it urged all and sundry to join in reaffirming that the human rights of elderly were as absolute as those of all human beings.

According to the statement, the UN body called on governments and stakeholders to design and undertake more effective prevention strategies and stronger laws and policies to address all aspects of elderly abuse.

“Let us work together to optimise living conditions for the elderly and enable them to make the greatest possible contribution to the world,” the statement added

Source: GNA

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