Sadly incidences of elder abuse in our community are increasing. According to Queensland Government data in 2016/17, there were 1600 abuse notifications, an increase of 7% from the previous financial year. Minister for Seniors Coralee O’Rourke reported that financial abuse at 65%, is the abuse most commonly reported, followed by psychological abuse.
If you suspect someone you know is at risk of abuse or suffering abuse either emotional, physiological, financial, physical, sexual or neglect, then step forward and take some action.
If you can speak with the person, ask some open/general questions or if there are signs of abuse – ask some more directed questions.
Listen carefully, assess the risk and depending on the circumstances consider offering to help by accessing support services. These are:-
- Elder abuse helpline
Information, support and referrals for anyone experiencing abuse or witnessing the abuse of an older person.
Phone: 1300 651 192
- ADA Australia
Provides general advocacy support or guardianship advocacy to older Queenslanders experiencing discrimination, harm or abuse.
Phone: 1800 700 600
- Crime Stoppers
Information provided by the community assists with crime fighting and crime prevention.
Phone: 1800 333 000
- DV Connect
Provides free help for women, men, children, and pets affected by domestic and family violence across Queensland.
Phone Women’s Line: 1800 811 811
Phone Men’s Line: 1800 600 636
Counselling services for anyone at any time.
Phone: 13 11 14
- Office of the Public Guardian
Protects the rights and interests of vulnerable Queenslanders, including adults with impaired decision making capacity.
Phone: 1300 653 187
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Appoints guardiansor administrators to act on behalf of adults with impaired decision making capacity.
Phone: 1300 753 228
- Seniors legal services
Free legal and support services for seniors.
It is important that as family, friends and as a community, we provide support and assistance for our vulnerable elders who are at risk so that they know they are not alone and help is at hand.