Theatre and Elder Abuse

Mary E Luckhurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


The human rights of the elderly are among the least regarded, and elder abuse is a taboo subject in both developed and developing countries. On the page of the United Nations website where Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, cites a fundamental tenet — ‘All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and have the right to age with dignity, respected by their families and communities, free of neglect, abuse and violence’ — elder abuse is also described as ‘a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world’.1 The UN estimates that 4 to 6 per cent of elderly people have experienced some form of mistreatment at home, and in the West there are also growing numbers of reported cases of serious abuse and deaths taking place in care homes and hospitals. In 1995 the global population of people aged 60 and over was 542 million; UN predictions inflate that figure to 1.2 billion for 2025. Accordingly, elder abuse is also forecast to increase. This means many more cases of serious physical injury, long-term psychological damage and premature death. As a consciousness-raising endeavour, and following representation from an NGO called the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), the UN General Assembly announced in 2006 that 15 June would henceforth officially be designated ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheatre and Human Rights after 1945
EditorsMary Luckhurst, Emilie Morin
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-36230-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-57874-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Care Home, Liberal Democrats, Ageing Body, Elder Mistreatment


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