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Dear Abby shines a light on elder abuse

an older woman reads the newspaper
Dear Abby has been enjoyed by readers for decades

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15

Since 1956, the Dear Abby column has captivated readers with sound advice and gentle feedback. Today the column is written by Abby's daughter, who believes that now is the time to take a stand against elder abuse.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), the Dear Abby column will feature a piece on elder abuse. 

In a letter to Dear Abby, Mary Twomey, Co-director of the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, details the sobering statistic that as many as 5 million older adults are abused each year in the United States. Fortunately, all of us are capable of making the world a safer place for seniors.

Individuals are working hard to protect older adults. Through the Ageless Alliance, a grassroots elder justice movement, members have gained access to an action kit that anyone can use to do spread elder abuse awareness. A hairdresser in Ohio is displaying table tents on her workstand to help educate her clients on preventing elder abuse. Lisa Peck, an administrative assistant from Anaheim, California, makes a difference for older adults by donating food in clothing to seniors in need.

For more information on how YOU can help, the National Center on Elder Abuse has compiled a list of ways that anyone can get involved.

Although we are a long way from reaching our goal of creating a world without elder abuse, we thank Dear Abby and all others who continue to raise awareness of elder abuse and fight for the rights of those who raised us.