Elder Abuse Awareness Day
One in 20 older West Australians suffer a silent epidemic, elder abuse.
Abuse can be deliberate or unintentional and manifests in a variety of ways including: financial (such as taking money or selling property); social (isolating someone by disconnecting their phone or excluding them from activities); emotional (threatening, ridiculing, telling someone they have dementia); neglect (not providing the basic necessities or denying services if they don’t do as they’re told); physical (handled roughly, not speaking out when abuse is witnessed) and sexual (such as assault or inappropriate comments.)
Elder abuse is carried out by somebody the person knows and trusts, such as a family member, friend or neighbour. WA lawyers say that most victim of elder abuse are women over the age of 60 and the abuse commonly comes from their daughters.
Signs that abuse is occurring can include changes to wills, large withdrawals from bank accounts, weight loss, being found unclean or inappropriately dressed, torn, stained clothing, bruises, broken items like glasses, unexplained injuries including bruising around private areas and not being allowed to see a person on their own.
A new national body Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) launched on 15 June 2018 to tackle serious crimes against seniors such as fraud and theft.
Elder Abuse Awareness Day is acknowledged on Friday 15 June.
Call the Elder Abuse Helpline WA on 1300 724 679 for support.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is held each year on 15 June.
Sadly, elder abuse is estimated to affect 1 in 20 older people in Western Australia, becoming a common social issue in our community. The abuse of the elderly can take various forms, ranging from physical and sexual assault, to neglect, psychological and financial mistreatment.
For more information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Elder Abuse visit: advocare.org.au/get-involved/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day/
Elder abuse often leads to homelessness and mental health problems. Chorus Voices podcast recently talked to a customer about her experience with elder abuse:
- Friday 15th June 2018
- Saturday 15th June 2019