Any form of community event or activity can be used to raise awareness of elder abuse.
Decorate poles, seats, bike racks etc with knitted or crocheted art (yarn bombing) – the photograph on the left shows a great example from Frankston (see the full gallery of photographs here) who used yarn bombing to draw attention to elder abuse in 2014.
Not only is the art eye-catching but they cleverly hung information cards from decorated poles so that people had the information they needed to learn more.
Plan a walk to raise awareness
Local councils could organise and promote an “Awareness Walk” and invite community members to participate. This can be particularly effective if you choose a very public route and all wear purple!
Morning tea for WEAAD
Hold a morning tea. You could invite a guest speaker to introduce topics around elder abuse or simply use it as an opportunity for guests to have an open conversation with each other.
Create a public display board/table
Invite community members or schools to participate in developing posters and displaying these in libraries, local councils or shopping centres. It’s great to get schools involved – students can practice their graphic design or photography skills while creating an eye-catching display to help raise awareness in the general community. They also learn about elder abuse in the process and reflect on their own relationships with older people.
Displayed in the local community centre, library or health centre, the information can be accessed by at-risk people too and help them to understand the assistance available.
Plant a tree
Have the Mayor or local MP plant a tree to mark the day. A declaration could be made by the Mayor or MP to commit to reduce elder abuse in the community through raising awareness and choosing policies that make your community a positive place to grow older. Invite the community to watch the tree planting – or have everyone plant a tree in commemoration of the older people who influenced their lives.
Submit an article or letter to the Editor
Write to your local paper reminding people that our older citizens have given to us for many years and it is now our turn to give back to them. Talk about how ageism and lack of respect for our older people makes them more vulnerable to abuse. Call for the community to be proactive in engaging older people.
Host a lecture, debate or presentation
Sponsor a lecture, debate, speech or presentation on ways to prevent abuse and neglect in later life. Invite professionals from your local area who work with older people every day so they can learn how to recognise and respond to elder abuse.
Use social networking to raise the awareness about abuse of older people. Post positive messages about ageing, share posts from our image pack and use the hashtag #WEAAD. Remember to tag us in your posts too – Facebook and Twitter.
Ask your bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse.
Ask your religious congregation’s leader to give a talk about elder abuse at a service or to place a message about elder abuse in the bulletin.
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