World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Today, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Minister for Seniors, Jodie Harrison, and NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald, call on the community to take a united stand against all forms of abuse against older people across New South Wales.
Minister Harrison said, ‘today is an important day to reflect, and recommit ourselves to action on this issue, particularly in the face of rising reports of elder abuse in our state.
‘These rates will continue to rise unless we have ongoing and open conversations, and take action against elder abuse.’
Alarming data released by the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission (ADC) shows a 38 per cent increase in statutory reports about the abuse of older people, with 53 per cent of these reports relating to allegations against adult children.
“Most of us do the right thing by our parents but the unfortunate reality is that there are older people in our community who are not coming forward to get help because they are fearful of losing their relationship with their adult children,” Minister Harrison said.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to talk about this uncomfortable truth and encourage older people and those around them to reach out for support or make a report.
“Safeguarding older people from abuse requires an unwavering commitment from government and I am committed to creating a safer community for our senior citizens in NSW.”
NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said that most of the reports about older people related to psychological and financial abuse with 40 per cent of reports relating to psychological abuse, which includes verbal abuse or preventing access to family or friends.
“The good news is more reports are coming in from a broader range of people, which is sending a signal that we are all becoming more aware of elder abuse and will not tolerate it.” Commissioner Fitzpatrick said.
Members of the community who suspect abuse or have experienced it are are encouraged to call the NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm) for information, support or to make a report.
In an emergency call 000.