The NSW Government is encouraging the public to challenge ageism and help raise awareness of the rights of older people this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Minister for Seniors Natalie Ward said increasing awareness and challenging age-based discrimination are key to preventing elder abuse.
“It’s up to all of us to help detect, address and prevent elder abuse. Everyone deserves to live happily as they age, free from fraud, abuse or exploitation,” Mrs Ward said.
“Increasing awareness and challenging age-based discrimination are key to prevention, so we must all positively shift the way we perceive and experience growing older.”
“As soon as we associate older age with being incapable, we begin to excuse the rights of older people.”
Elder abuse can manifest from inequality and ageism. It covers mistreatment and neglect, and can be psychological, social, physical, sexual or financial.
Reports to the Ageing and Disability Commission predominantly relate to allegations of abuse against older people, particularly women. For older people, psychological and financial abuse are most commonly reported.
The NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM said this day is an opportunity to voice our collective opposition to the abuse of older people.
“Everyone must recognise that older people have the right to make decisions about their own life. When this is denied, we start to see the beginning of abuse,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We all have a responsibility to support older people and promote their right to live with dignity and respect in their family, home and community.”
For more information, read the Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021–2031.
For information, support or to make a report call the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221.