Elder abuse, no matter what form it takes, robs a person of their autonomy, dignity and right to self-determination. It is important that anyone who is being abused, or who knows an older person who is being abused, report and act upon it.
If you are an older person who believes they are being subjected to a form of elder abuse it is important that you speak up and seek assistance and advice.
If you are someone who knows an older person who you believe is being subjected to elder abuse, it is equally important that you try to help them. The starting point is to have a conversation with the older person about the abuse and to offer your support. If you are given permission, your support can extend to reporting the abuse and to seeking legal or other assistance with the older person.
If you are someone who knows an older person who, by reason of disability or a medical condition such as dementia, is unable to report or seek assistance, it is imperative that you step in to help them.
Some of the places elder abuse can be reported to, and advice and assistance can be requested from, include the following:
- in cases of physical and/or sexual abuse the police on 000
- the Elder Abuse Helpline NSW on 1300 651 192 or Interstate on (07) 3867 2525
- the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline 1800 628 221
- the National Elder Abuse Phone Line on 1800 353 374
- Legal Aid NSW Elder Abuse Service on (02) 4324 5611
- if your complaint is specifically in relation to care and medical services provided by an aged care or residential care service or in-home care provider:
- managers of residential aged care facilities and at-home care providers
- the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822
Importantly, a solicitor can also advise you on action to take in response to elder abuse and your rights and entitlements.