The 2023 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference was held June 15, 2023 in Phoenix, AZ. We hope to see you next year!
Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation are serious problems in Arizona and around the world. It is everyone’s responsibility to try to prevent these types of maltreatments from occurring and to report suspected incidents of these kinds to the appropriate authorities. Recognizing the importance of shining a spotlight on these issues, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations launched World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to gain and share a better understanding of the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic factors that contribute to this crisis.
The DES Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) helps at-risk Arizonans meet their basic needs and provides the tools and resources to enable them to live safely, with dignity and independence. One of the ways DAAS fulfills this mission is by hosting WEAAD, a conference for individual residents, professional organizations and communities to connect and advocate for the protection of aging adults and those 18 and older who have disabilities.
This is an important opportunity for those serving such communities, including governments, service providers, nonprofit and for-profit organizations to network, discover innovative practices, and share information and resources. These individuals and organizations learn from experts on vital topics including providing quality care to older adults, dementia and its ties to elder abuse, as well as technological safety for seniors.
On June 15, 2023, dozens of organizations and over one hundred professionals in aging gathered together again to learn from experts and each other about the best practices for seeing, stopping and preventing elder abuse in all its forms. With our esteemed keynote speakers and variety of breakout sessions, we know participants gained knowledge, insight and best practices they can leverage to bolster services for older adults and further combat abuse within Arizona’s aging population.
SpeakUpAZ.org - It’s Our Responsibility
During her opening remarks for the 2023 WEAAD Conference, DES Director Angie Rodgers introduced a new public awareness campaign to educate all Arizonans about the prevalence of abuse and neglect, as well as how to prevent, identify and report it. DES partnered with the Governor’s Office and other state agencies to develop the SpeakUpAz.org campaign to further the public to be confident and informed in doing their part. Our goal is for all Arizonans to be proactive with protecting vulnerable adults, and for potential victims to know they’re not alone. The title of the campaign, SpeakUpAZ.org - It’s Our Responsibility, is the perfect summary of what it will encapsulate.
Now, it’s your turn. Abuse, neglect, or exploitation can happen anywhere, from our homes and community centers to our workplaces and healthcare facilities. All Arizonans deserve a life free from harm, and we all have the ability to help. Your voice can save the lives of vulnerable adults. It’s our responsibility. Thank you in advance for your support and partnership.
Visit SpeakUpAZ.org to learn more.