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.
Financial; Neglect; Physical; Psychological/emotional; Sexual; and Social
Addictive behaviour; Career stress; Dependency; Family conflict; Isolation; Language or cultural barriers; and Medical or psychological conditions
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.
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