Commemorative days of the year tend to be special events – a rejoicing, a remembrance or a reminder.
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – a day to remind us that:
• It’s happening;
• It’s getting worse;
• It’s repugnant; and
• The law needs to change to capture the conduct and catch the perpetrators.
It is also a reminder of a poignant pathos – most elder abusers are family members who are usually only too willing to ritualistically commemorate and celebrate their parents’ existence on other special days of the year – Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. That could be the one day, ironically, when a child puts their hand in their own pocket – to give – rather than in a parent’s pocket – to take.
We can’t excuse it as just bad behaviour – it’s criminal – it saps our elders’ autonomy, social relevance, financial security, peace, comfort and dignity resulting in their later lives becoming something to be passively endured instead of actively lived.
There is a mood and a momentum for change – engage in conversation or, even better, join the cause to convert outrage to action.