The State Government has partnered with lead agencies to call for an end to elder abuse in Queensland today – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
It has launched a six-week campaign urging Queenslanders who experience, witness or suspect elder abuse to call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192 or visit qld.gov.au/stopelderabuse.
The most common forms of abuse are psychological, neglect and financial.
Services supporting older Queenslanders report these forms of abuse are often linked. Almost one in six older Australians experienced abuse in the past 12 months.
Today, Brisbane will join other cities turning the spotlight on elder abuse with a community event featuring question and answer sessions, panel discussions and activities, such as tai chi and line dancing.
Hosted by Caxton Legal Centre, ‘It’s all about respect’ is free to attend.
It is being held at Flowstate Outdoor Pavilion, The Arbour, Turbine Street, South Brisbane, until 2pm.
Colette Bots, Director, Family, Domestic Violence and Elder Law practice, Caxton Legal Centre said many older Australians who were experiencing abuse by a trusted family member, friend or neighbour might not realise it or know what to do.
“Lawyers can help people come to a better understanding of the different types of elder abuse, including financial, psychological, physical, sexual abuse or neglect, and how the law can help them to make the abuse stop,” Ms Bots said.
“Our Queensland Government-funded Seniors Legal and Support Service offers home visits to people in the comfort of their own homes or in any other safe location so that we can start an obligation-free, confidential conversation in a safe space.
“Through our service and in line with the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, we see the majority of those perpetrating elder abuse are adult sons and daughters.
“Psychological abuse is frequently used by adult children to facilitate convenient ways to commit financial abuse against their mother or father. This can take the form of intimidating their parents as a means of pressuring them to hand over their life savings.
“As a community we need to take a stand against elder abuse and not let it remain under the radar when we see signs that it may be occurring.”