1. Plan a Walk

Get your community together and plan a walk to raise awareness about elder abuse. Here are some things to consider:

  • Assemble a planning committee made up of coworkers, health agencies and professionals, community volunteers and anyone else who is interested in raising awareness of elder abuse
  • Decide what the name of your event should be, how long the walk will be and where you would like to have it held
  • Choose a location. Local parks, neighborhoods, etc.
  • Check with local city officials and the police department to see if there are any restrictions or accommodations that need to be made, such as closing off streets etc.
  • Solicit and invite local area business, organizations and individuals to help support your event. Inquire about monetary contributions, donations, coupons or gift certificates to help make your walk a success
  • Create a registration & waiver form for participants. Determine if there will be a registration fee, and whether participants will raise money or awareness or both
  • Get the word out! Advertise on the radio, on television, in local newspapers and at local businesses. Have registration forms available throughout the community/neighborhood
  • Have refreshments available &endash; water, healthy snacks and fruit
  • Have a plan for the day of your event
  • Involve volunteers

2. Support a Proclamation

Declarations and proclamations are formal statements by a local, regional or national government or major national or international organization recognizing and identifying the significance of an issue. In some cases, it is tied to a formal event or ceremony.

  • A government declaration is considered more valuable if it also tied to formal commitment of funding to help further needed community activities
  • Declarations and proclamations can be good opportunities for working with media, to establish and develop partnerships

3. Engage the Local Media

When planning a WEAAD event it is imperative to involve the media. This is the best way to reach the largest audience and to encourage participation in your event.

Below are tips for getting the media involved:

  • Make the media aware of your event by sending them a media advisory about your event
  • Ask a high profile person from the media to be an honorary chairperson for your event
  • Offer the media a story about elder abuse. If you can tell a real-life story, your chances of getting coverage are more likely
  • Pay close attention to the journalists and reporters who write on topics related to your event. These are the people you are going to want to contact with your story
  • Find a media sponsor for your event. A media organization will often provide a charity with free publicity and advertising in exchange for association with the event
  • About a week before your event, you should distribute a media advisory to any media source that covers such events. This advisory is like an invitation for working media to come and cover the event.

4. Establish or Join a Local Group/Network

Establish a local group to address concerns related to abuse of older adults in your community. In many regions across Manitoba elder abuse awareness networks are in place or being developed. Contact us to find out more about groups/networks in your area.

Establish a focus group. Focus groups are an excellent way to evaluate current services, educational pieces, research etc. or to establish new ideas. First step is to establish the major objective for the group. Determine what problem or need will be addressed by the information you will gather during your meetings. Focus groups usually meet several times so it is important to establish your guidelines from the start. It is important to have an agenda and stick to it, and to record your sessions so no information is lost.

5. Host a Presentation, Lecture or Debate

Host a presentation, lecture or debate, about elder abuse and/or ways to prevent abuse and neglect in later life.

Additional topics that may be of interest include:

  • How we respond to abuse in later life
  • Best practices for working together effectively and problem solving
  • Emerging challenges and problem solving
  • Diversity and abuse of older adults
  • How to reduce the prevalence of abuse and neglect in later life
  • Ageism & attitudes towards older adults

Possible sources for speakers include:

  • Non-governmental and governmental organizations working for awareness and prevention of abuse in later life
  • Community leaders
  • Ethnic and multicultural group representatives
  • Educators at community colleges and universities
  • Labour unions or professional associations
  • Faith organizations

If people seem to be unaware of the issues of elder abuse, invite them to join your lecture or debate as an opportunity to learn. When presenting, using a Power Point presentation can be a helpful tool. Print the Power Point out ahead of time, so people can take notes as you present them with information.

Tips for Successful Presentations:

It is extremely important to tailor your presentations to the group you is attending the presentation. A presentation to a group of doctors will be quite different than a presentation to members of the faith community or to seniors. Here are some questions to consider when planning your presentation:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What topics is the group interested in?
  • Does the audience have any prior knowledge of the topic?
  • What does the audience want to learn from your presentation?
  • What do you hope the audience will learn from your presentation?

6. Wear Purple

It's really that simple &endash; wear purple and encourage and invite others
to do the same. Donít forget to send us the pictures!

Seven Oaks General Hospital

Seven Oaks General Hospital - WEAAD 2014 picture

7. Distribute Purple Ribbons

Get together with a group of people and make ribbons to distribute on June 15. Making & distributing purple ribbons is a great awareness activity and an opportunity for others to learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. All you need is purple ribbon and some pins.

Whether itís at school, Girl Guides or Scouts, a senior centre, your apartment complex or even your kitchen table Ė get everyone involved, make ribbons and increase awareness about how to prevent abuse of older Manitobans.

8. Present an Award

Organize an awards ceremony to celebrate and recognize individuals or groups who have worked to raise awareness about elder abuse.

Here are some ideas for establishing awards:

  • People who have worked to help communities build bridges between individuals and organizations so they have a better understanding of abuse and neglect in later life
  • People who have worked with a particular ethnic community on abuse issues affecting older adults
  • People who have worked with administration to meet the cultural foods needs of ethnic seniors in a congregate setting
  • People who have worked to reduce the use of physical or chemical restraints in nursing homes
  • People who work to bridge the generation gap between older adults and children
  • People who conduct trainings to educate their communities about elder abuse