26 September 2023

Purple patches highlight elder abuse

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Buildings and landmarks across the State were lit up in purple earlier this month in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The day has been officially recognised by the United Nations since 2011, providing an opportunity for people around the world to unite in voicing opposition to elder abuse and the suffering it inflicts upon victims.

Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that 15 per cent of Australians aged 65 years and over who live in the general community, excluding aged care settings, have experienced elder abuse.

In a statement, the Department of Communities said the theme for this year was Wise Up, Rise Up Against Elder Abuse.

“This focuses on how the community can ‘wise up’ (or find out more about elder abuse, recognise the signs, and where to access support), ‘rise up’ (take action in their own lives and communities to stop it from happening) and to support older Western Australians,” the statement said.

Minister for Seniors and Ageing, Don Punch said elder abuse was a significant issue in the community and momentum was growing for action at a local, national and international level.

“It is a complex social, health and human rights issue, experienced and carried out by people of all backgrounds. I encourage all Western Australians to get involved and Wise Up, Rise Up against Elder Abuse in the community,” Mr Punch said.

“We can all ‘wise up’ by finding out more about elder abuse, how to recognise the signs, and where to access support,” he said.

“We can all also ‘rise up’ by taking the time to listen to older people in our lives about what is important to them, if they feel safe and valued, and take action in to support older Western Australians.”

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