By Juliano Oliveira
A new state campaign addressed to end elder abuse will heavily rely on community participation and proactiveness following the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
By acting together, Queenslanders are being urged to identify and report elder abuse cases to the authorities. Helpline data showed that violence of all kinds against elderlies occurred in many state communities, with abuse notifications totalling 1,534 in 2019–20.
“The people affected by elder abuse are our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, neighbours and friends, so it is important that we are able to recognise when abuse might be happening and know where to get help,” Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said.
“The campaign focuses on building awareness and understanding of elder abuse, including the forms it may take — emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse and neglect — and its impacts on older people’s wellbeing.”
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, between 2% and 14% of older Australians likely experience elder abuse in any given year, with the prevalence of neglect possibly higher.
Mr Crawford encouraged family members, friends, neighbours and carers to call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192 or visit the campaign website.
“As many cases of elder abuse go unreported, the number of older people experiencing abuse is likely to be higher than call numbers indicate,” Mr Crawford said.
“Also, as part of that $5 million commitment [to elder abuse prevention], we have invested $3.7 million towards the seniors legal and support services at 11 locations across the state. These services provide free, individualised legal advice and social support to older people who are experiencing or at risk of abuse, and specialist financial protection services for seniors.
“We also provided $400,000 for a specialist financial information and advice service, as well as $100,000 in funding to the Seniors Enquiry Line to provide information and advice on scams, fraud and consumer protection issues. This information service assists in further protecting older people from financial abuse.”