Returning for its second year, Elder Abuse Awareness Week 2018 at UM was held during 25-29 June, with its official opening ceremony taking place on Wednesday the 27th of 2018. The campaign, held in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, was jointly organized by the Prevent Elder Abuse and negleCt initiativE (PEACE); Julius Centre Universiti Malaya (JCUM); Primary Care Medicine (RUKA) at UMMC; and the Violence Intervention Committee (VIC) at UMMC.
Themed “Remember Me”, the week featured various booths from services linked to elderly care such as Managed Care, Senior Care Asia and Otomate Me. It also showcased a variety of educational posters, containing explanations on types of elder abuse and neglect, signs and symptoms, along with tips on how to seek help whether as a caregiver or a concerned bystander. The booth run by PEACE provided further information on these topics. A “Silent Witness” exhibit was also present, showcasing anecdotes of abuse and neglect as experienced by older persons.
Wednesday’s opening ceremony included speeches from event chairperson Dr Fadzilah Hanum, UMMC director Professor Dr Tunku Kamarul Zaman, and the event’s first-ever ambassador Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan. Of particular note was ambassador Chef Wan’s opening ceremony speech, where he recounted the importance of the elderly in our everyday lives, while also providing personal anecdotes of caring for his mother and late maternal grandmother.
After the speeches, prizes were then distributed to winners of the campaign’s photo and video contests. Prior to the week-long campaign, members of the public were encouraged to send in entries based on the campaign theme. First place winner Lau Khai Siang received RM800 for his video, “Remember Me Ah Gong”, whilst second and third place winners Dr Calyn Tan and Hazidah Hasain received RM500 and RM300 for their efforts. For the photo contest, Noraliza Mohd Nor came in first place, followed by Fadzli Arshad and Jack Son in second and third place respectively. All winners of the contests had their works on display during the event.
The opening ceremony also hosted an event photo booth, where guests were encouraged to take photos against a themed backdrop after the prizegiving had concluded. For attendees who took photos, instant prints were provided as an event keepsake.
The organizers would like to acknowledge and thank all those who participated in making this event a success, especially to The Star Media and Jabatan Kesihatan Awam (JKA), UMMC for promoting the event.