Elder Abuse: Everyone’s business

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is recognised each year on June 15th to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse. Today Trust staff, Cedar representatives, alongside members of partner organisation Women's Aid, will be at Sainsbury's Armagh and Buttercrane, Newry to raise awareness with the public between 10am and 2pm.  

Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological, or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

Purple ribbon symbolising World Elder Abuse Day

WEAAD was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011, following a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), who first established the commemoration in June 2006.

In many parts of the world, elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. It is a global social issue that affects the health, well-being, independence, and human rights of millions of older people worldwide and an issue that deserves the attention of all in the community.

According to WHO, prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries – ranging from 1 to 10 percent. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious.

Individuals, communities, municipalities, and organizations will come together across the globe to hold events on June 15th that raise awareness of elder abuse. Rosie McNaughton is Cedar's dedicated Adult Abuse champion and we will continue to highlight all aspects of Adult Safeguarding work.

If you are worried that a family member, a friend, a neighbour or colleague may be experiencing possible abuse, exploitation or neglect contact your Local Trust Adult Protection Gateway Team for advice and support or PSNI. Southern Trust Adult Protection Gateway Team can be contacted on 028 3756 4423 or phone PSNI on 101 or 999 in an emergency.


  • Psychological abuse may include where the person is unusually scared, upset or withdrawn, or being isolated from family and friends;
  • Financial abuse may include not having enough money to pay bills and buy food when enough money should be available;
  • Physical abuse may include unexplained injuries; inappropriate restraint or physical assault Sexual abuse may include someone being touched in a way that the person does not like or understand;
  • Neglect may include failing to provide care or support that results in someone being harmed;
  • Institutional abuse is the neglect of an adult by system or individuals in settings where they live or receive services. It includes poor standards of care, practice and behaviours.