Queensland Law Society

Seniors and the law 

Elder abuse 

What is elder abuse?

Any act occurring within a relationship where there is an implication of trust, which results in harm to the older person.

Financial and psychological abuse are the most prevalent types of abuse of people aged over 60 years.


Abuse types

Financial; Neglect; Physical; Psychological/emotional; Sexual; and Social

Risk factors

Addictive behaviour; Career stress; Dependency; Family conflict; Isolation; Language or cultural barriers; and Medical or psychological conditions

Getting help

Referral and contact information:

  • Elder Abuse Hotline on 1300 651 192 (Queensland only); and 07 3867 2525 (rest of Australia). Available Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm.
  • Police on 000 (triple zero) if you witness or a victim of violence, or if you are worried the older person is at immediate risk.
  • Queensland Law Society on 1300 367 757 for referral to a lawyer.

Supporting the rights of our elders

QLS recognises and has long advocated for the rights of older Australians. Our Elder Law policy committee regularly responds to and proactively proposes legislative reform with a view to improving and preserving the legal rights of older Australians.

QLS works with government and other relevant bodies to call for and improve elder issues, and notably collaborated with the Public Advocate to produce a joint paper reporting on elder abuse.

QLS has called for adequate funding of community legal centres, recognising the pivotal role of these centres in providing older Australians with access to legal assistance.

Raising awareness about elder abuse

On 14 June 2017 QLS launched a trial designed to raise public awareness of physical, emotional and financial abuse being suffered in silence by society’s vulnerable elderly community. The trial, run with the assistance of the Australian Medical Association of Queensland (AMAQ), will enlist the help of general practitioners and staff from 321 clinics to look out for the symptoms of elder abuse and by referring patients to support services including the “Elder Abuse Helpline” and QLS’s Find a Solicitor Service.




Care has been taken in the preparation of the information and resources contained in and referred to on this website.  However, QLS does not warrant the accuracy, reliability or completeness or that the material is fit for any particular purpose. By using the information and resources, you are responsible for assessing the accuracy and relevance of the material to your own circumstances and rely on it at your own risk. To the extent permitted by law, all other representations, conditions or warranties, whether based in statute, common law (including in negligence) or otherwise are excluded.  QLS does not accept any liability for any damage or loss (including loss of profits, loss of revenue, indirect and consequential loss) incurred by any person as a result of relying on the information contained on this website. The information is provided as an introductory general guide only, and is not given in the context of any specific set of facts pertinent to individual persons. The contents of this website and the resources to which it refers do not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such.  The information is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the information on this website undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content.  In the event that persons accessing the information and resources on this website are uncertain of their rights and obligations, or are otherwise uncertain of best steps to take in their particular circumstances, it is recommended that they seek legal advice.

The website may include third party content which is subject to that third party's terms and conditions of use. Nothing on this website should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third party content. The website includes links to third party sites which are not related to QLS and in relation to which QLS has no control or interest.  Links to third party sites do not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or of the owners of those sites.