World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016

Jun 25, 2016

WEAAD 2016 logo from ACL

Posted June 25, 2016

At least 5 million older adults reports experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation every year (Administration for Community Living, 2016, 2016)—and many more cases of elder maltreatment go unreported. Such mistreatment can manifest as neglect or self-neglect; emotional (psychological), physical, or sexual abuse; financial (or material) exploitation; and abandonment.

Recognizing both the magnitude of this problem and the integral role the social work profession plays in preventing, identifying, and addressing elder maltreatment, NASW promotes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) every year on June 15. WEAAD unites individuals, organizations, and communities in preventing and addressing elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

On June 16, NASW joined elder justice advocates from around the world at the WEAAD Second Global Summit in Washington, DC. The summit was convened by the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). Event sponsors included the National Center on Elder Abuse within the Administration on Aging. NASW participated as a national partner organization. A recording of the event will be posted soon on NAPSA’s WEAAD page.

Although WEAAD has passed, the work associated with this observance continues throughout the year. Download the Administration for Community Living’s WEAAD Toolkit, the INPEA’s WEAAD Resource Library, and other resources from the list below. Reply to this blog or post a message to NASW’s Facebook page or Twitter account to let your social work colleagues know of WEAAD activities or of your ongoing work to end elder maltreatment.


Practice Perspectives:

Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (2014)

Reporting Requirements for PQRS 2015 for Individual Measures Used by Clinical Social Workers (2015)—includes information about PQRS Measure 181, Elder Maltreatment Screen and Follow-Up Plan

NASW Press:

Empowering Social Workers for Practice with Vulnerable Older Adults (Soniat & Micklos, 2010)

Encyclopedia of Social Work (20th ed.)—includes various articles related to elder maltreatment, available in print (2008) or online (2008–current) formats

Social Work Speaks (10th ed., 2015)—includes policy statement on Aging and Wellness

NASW Specialty Practice Sections:

Articles on elder abuse (Hong, 2011; Cross, 2007; Goldman Rosen & Grocki, 2002)

Webinar: The Complexities of Elder Abuse (Anetzberger, 2010)


Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging: Elder Justice & Adult Protective Services page

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Financial protection for older Americans page; Protecting Residents from Financial Exploitation: A Manual for Assisted Living and Nursing Facilities (2014)

Department of Justice: Elder Justice Initiative

Federal Trade Commission: Pass It On campaign; information about scams and identity theft

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearings on elder maltreatment


Elder Justice Roadmap report and follow-up (2014–present)

FrameWorks Institute report: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understanding of Elder Abuse in America (2016)

Elder abuse workshop summary (2013), elder abuse and contagion of violence perspective (2012), and related materials from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Global Violence Prevention, of which NASW is a member

National Adult Protective Services Resource Center

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative

National Institute on Elder Financial Exploitation

Women’s Institute for a Secure Economic Retirement: financial elder abuse resources

Please refer to NASW’s 2014 Practice Perspective, Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitationfor additional elder justice resources.

Chris Herman, MSW, LICSW

NASW Senior Practice Associate