Monday 15 June was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, providing an opportunity for communities globally to advocate for those affected by abuse of older people.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a reminder for all of us to check in with our vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours, to ensure their care adequately addresses their unique situation and needs, in a manner that enhances their quality of life”, said Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia.
The World Health Organisation estimates that, worldwide, almost 1 in 6 (16%) of people aged 60 and over have experienced abuse, and that many more instances may go unreported.
“Relationships Australia believes that all people, regardless of their age, should be able to live their lives free from any kind of abuse, and should be supported to have happy and healthy relationships with all those around them. Relationships can be difficult to manage at times, but services and supports are available across the country, to assist you. Older people are important members of our community, be they family, friends or neighbours. We encourage everyone to get to know the older people around you and to support them to live their best lives”, said Mr Tebbey.
To align with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020, Relationships Australia has launched its latest survey, which looks at the awareness of abuse of older people in our society as well as attitudes towards older people. Results from this survey will be finalised 1 August 2020.
Help us by taking a few minutes to fill out the survey:
This survey is part of a series. If you would like to sign up to Relationships Australia’s mailing list to hear about the others, you can do so here.
Do you have any concerns about elder abuse?
If you are concerned about someone in your life suffering from elder abuse, it is important to talk to someone about it. Depending on your position in their life, you could speak to the elder person directly or a family member about your concerns, their medical or allied health professionals, or if you are distanced from the elder person you could ring an organisation such as OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network, opan.com.au) on 1800 700 600, or the SA Elder Abuse Prevention Hotline on 1800 372 310, which is run by SA Health, or visit the website (www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/stopelderabuse). Two other important and helpful organisations are the Aged Rights Advocacy Service and the Adult Safeguard Unit. Please find their contacts below. Of course, if you had an immediate concern about their wellbeing you should call 000 to get immediate police support for the individual.
Aged Rights Advocacy Service – they will advocate for the person
The Adult Safeguard Unit is where people can report elder abuse and this can be anonymous https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/stop+elder+abuse/elder+abuse+information+and+services/south+australian+elder+abuse+prevention+phone+line