Elder abuse is an issue in our community and can have a significant impact on the life of an older person experiencing abuse.
‘Elder abuse’ is “any act occurring within a relationship where there is an implication of trust, which results in harm to an older person. Abuse may be physical, sexual, financial, psychological, social and/or neglect.” (Australian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ANPEA) 1999)
The World Health Organisation describes elder abuse as a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, loss of productivity, isolation and despair (WHO 2002 Active Ageing Policy Framework).
Older people have a right to live their lives safely and free from harm. Abuse can take many forms including physical, financial and emotional abuse.
Steps can be taken to safeguard the rights and assets of an older person who may be under pressure to make a decision against their wishes by people close to them. You may know of someone in this situation but are unsure of what you can do to assist.
Resources developed by the Victorian Government can help an older person to assert their rights and protect their assets.
Seniors Rights Victoria (srv) is the agency to contact. You can call 1300 368 821 if you suspect elder abuse is occurring or if you may be directly affected.
Resources can also be found on the SRV website at www.seniorsrights.org.au
The purpose of WEAAD is to provide and promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organisations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.