26 September 2023

Public urged to speak up on elder abuse

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New research from the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships show that more older Queenslanders are seeking support for elder abuse as community awareness grows about a State-funded helpline.

In a statement released to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Department said elder abuse was still vastly under-reported in Queensland.

It has launched a six-week, State-wide campaign urging people who experience, witness or suspect elder abuse to call the Elder Abuse Helpline.

The Department said the most common forms of elder abuse were psychological neglect and financial.

“Services supporting older Queenslanders report that these forms of abuse are often linked. Sadly, perpetrators of elder abuse are frequently the adult children of the older person,” the Department said.

Minister for Seniors, Craig Crawford said people of all ages had a right to respect, dignity and the feeling that they were safe.

“This is the message we will be sharing with Queenslanders as we launch this campaign to raise awareness of elder abuse, encouraging people to contact the Elder Abuse Helpline for support,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Government spends $7.9 million annually on elder abuse prevention and intervention, including the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, which is operated by UnitingCare, Seniors Financial Protection Services, scams and fraud awareness, and the Seniors Legal and Support Service.”

He said that despite the efforts, elder abuse reporting continued to increase in Queensland “driven in part by greater community awareness and older people seeking support, but we know the issue is still vastly under-reported”.

“We can stop elder abuse, but we must be willing to stand up together, as a community and as concerned family members and friends, for the rights of older Queenslanders,” Mr Crawford said.

“We must continue to spread the message far and wide to ensure older people know they are not alone — that there is always help available, and there is always someone willing to listen and to take action.”

Calls to the Elder Abuse Helpline can be made on 1300 651 192 or on this PS News link.

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