World Elder Abuse Awareness Day shines spotlight on underrepresented issue

15 Jun 2022
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day shines spotlight on underrepresented issue

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to to globally advocate for older people affected by elder abuse and highlight the ways they can access support.

Approximately one in six older Australians (15%) reported experiencing abuse in the last twelve months, according to the recent prevalence study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Elder abuse is any act that harms an older person conducted by someone they trust.

Relationships Australia WA’s Manager of Peel Senior Relationships Service Charmaine Kennedy said in many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response.

“It is a global social issue which affects the health, well-being, independence, and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and an issue which needs the attention of all in the community,” she said.

“Our aim is to promote awareness around the hidden problem of elder abuse and to ensure people know where to turn for support.”

Relationships Australia WA’s Peel Senior Relationship service provides a free service to those experiencing elder abuse in Mandurah, and the Peel region.

To highlight this issue, we are presenting information on elder abuse, Wednesday 15 June, 2022 from 10-1 pm at Darius Wells Centre Kwinana. We also have an information table at Mandurah Library from Wednesday 8 June to Wednesday 15 June.

Types of Elder Abuse:

  • Financial abuse - the illegal or improper use of an older person's money or property, including the misuse of an Enduring Power of Attorney document.
  • Psychological abuse - causing mental anguish, fear of violence, feelings of shame, humiliation and powerlessness.
  • Physical abuse - inflicting pain or injury. It includes hitting, slapping, restraining or over/under medicating.
  • Social abuse - preventing a person from having social contact with family and friends or accessing social activities. Eg. Removing someone’s phone, not allowing family and friends to visit.
  • Neglect - in intentional or unintentional failure by a carer to provide necessities of life to a person who depends on them.
  • Sexual abuse - sexual assault, rape or any activity that makes an older person uncomfortable about their body or gender, for example unwanted text messages.

To find out more about the Peel Senior Relationship service please visit their service page here.