Jun 18 2012
Advocates in action: Elders stage flashmob in Boston
Posted by: Kevin B. Gilnack, Campaign Manager
Each day in Massachusetts, there are 54 reports of suspected elder abuse (20,000 per year), according figures reported in 2011 by Mass Home Care, an elder services advocacy group. In Boston alone, there were over 7,000 cases of suspected elder abuse reported from 2008 to 2012, according to Ethos, who is responsible for Protective Services for the city of Boston.
June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and to mark the occasion, Ethos staff, volunteers and a dedicated group of seniors staged a unique demonstration at Roche Bros. supermarket in West Roxbury: a flash mob, to draw attention to the physical, emotional or sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment or self-neglect that many senior secretly face.
The first flashmob of its kind in the Boston-area to feature seniors; the (WEAAD) flash mob was planned and rehearsed for weeks by Ethos and the seniors in order to grab people's attention.
I wanted to highlight this unique example of grassroots human service supporters taking action in their community because it's a shining example of the type of event we look forward to creating with you all in follow-up to our tremendous rally in April.
There are a few components that make this especially effective. First, the flashmob gives attendees and those who see the video an opportunity to put a face -- or faces -- on the issue its addressing. Second, though not always required, it's helpful to make your events timely to increase their newsworthiness. In this case, coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day helped provide further context and gave media more reason to cover it. And in fact, the organizers did a great job of reaching out to local media as you can read about the flashmob on Boston.com and the West Roxbury Patch.
We commend Ethos' staff and volunteers for the creativitity and energy put into raising awareness on this serious issue.
Check out a video of the WEAAD flash mob
As we await the results of this year's budget and look ahead to new opportunities for you to stay involved throughout the year, we need your input:
Leave a comment with your thoughts about the video and let us know what types of events you want to be a part of through The Caring Force!