Older generations "too often neglected and abused"

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Elderly men. Photo: World Bank/Celine Ferre

It is a disturbing and tragic fact that members of the older generations are too often neglected and abused, according to the UN Secretary-General.

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day marked every 15 June, Ban Ki-moon said this "painful reality" generally goes ignored by mainstream society.

Older persons are expected to make up more than 20 per cent of the global population by 2050.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The United Nations is highlighting that the ageing of the world's population has added urgency to promoting and defending the rights of older persons.

It says the objective of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to generate a global discussion of what has been described as a "once-taboo issue".

In his message, the UN chief said that for many, elder abuse conjures an image of a heartless caregiver who is not well-known to the victim.

But while this problem does persist, he explained that more often it is family members who perpetrate the violations, which include neglect as well as psychological, financial and physical abuse.

Research shows that age, gender and dependency raise the risks of abuses, with women suffering the heaviest toll.

Findings also show that elder abuse often occurs in quiet, private settings.

Ban Ki-moon stressed this makes a vocal, public response that much more important.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’00″


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