World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated internationally each year on 15 June and landmark Mildura Buildings will turn a shade of purple this week as a show of support for our elderly residents to raise awareness throughout the community of the issue.

Purple is the colour used to symbolise WEAAD and as part of Mildura’s push to raise awareness about this serious issue, our city’s iconic Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, Rio Vista Historic House and the Carnegie Centre will be lit purple from this Thursday 14 June to Monday 18 June.

In a bid to further push this important issue into the spotlight and increase awareness, Mildura Rural City Council in partnership with other local agencies will hold an Elder Abuse Awareness Expo at Mildura Central this Friday, 15 June between 10am and 2pm.

Councillor for Community Wellbeing and Services Min Poole said the Expo would include support services for elderly people who may have been abused themselves, or exposed to abuse, as well as live entertainment from the Mildura Seniors Club choir, the Twilighters.

Cr Poole encouraged Sunraysia residents to embrace World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in an effort to combat what has been described as “one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society”.

“Aside from raising awareness about this serious problem, this important day will also help to dispel some of the misconceptions out there in terms of what is classified as ‘abuse’,” she said.

“Abuse isn’t just physical. It can be social, financial, psychological or sexual, as well as mistreatment and neglect.

“For me, our elderly residents have contributed to the community and lifestyle we enjoy today over many decades, and they should be allowed to enjoy their senior years in peace and comfort, not abused.”

WEAAD is now in its 12th year and was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.

For more information about WEAAD and Council’s expo at Mildura Central contact Aged and Disability Services Positive Ageing Facilitator Linda McGlashan on (03) 5018 8100.