Central to our Nation is the idea that we are all in this together, and that as Americans we owe one another a basic duty of care. The pandemic has both reinforced the importance of that duty and tested our capacity to meet it — the virus has exacerbated the quiet harm of social isolation among seniors around the world, a condition that makes abuse, neglect, and exploitation more likely. Having lost so many cherished seniors to this virus, we must recommit ourselves to fully including older Americans in our communities and systems of support. We must care for one another — and leave no one behind.
President Biden went on to call on all Americans "to work for elder justice by building inclusive communities that welcome people of all ages and abilities; by learning the warning signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and by challenging age-related biases."
It is not too late for you to join this global day of action. ACL and the National Center on Elder Abuse have developed a variety of resources to help:
- Find tools and tips to mark WEAAD.
- Download and share elder abuse fact sheets in eight languages.
- Use social media to raise awareness.
In case you missed it: Yesterday we shared a conversation between Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging Edwin Walker and leaders of Alaska's Adult Protective Services and Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs on the experiences of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, how the programs adapted, and outreach to Alaska Native and rural communities.