Stand up and Walk against Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a problem that affects around 154,000 older Australians. It may involve taking someone’s money or possessions, not providing necessary care, making threats or stopping an older person’s social contacts, physical or sexual abuse, and these usually occur at the hands of someone trusted.

As our population ages, the number of people affected will increase, so it’s more important than ever that we raise awareness of elder abuse and challenge negative attitudes towards ageing. Older people don’t have to put up with abuse and have the right to live with dignity and safety.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities are supported by the Tasmanian Government.

In Tasmania, the Advocacy Tasmania Elder Abuse Helpline has assisted with 638 cases of alleged elder abuse since its inception in August 2012. Some notable trends over this period include:

  • 36% of calls came from a concerned family member
  • 32% of calls were made by the older person
  • 69% of cases related to older women
  • 48% of cases were in relation to people over the age of 80 years
  • 71% of alleged abusers were close family relatives with sons and daughters accounting for 46% of cases.
  • 82% of cases identified emotional/psychological as the type of abuse, 65% financial and 25% physical
  • 29% identified isolation as a risk factor, 40% identified family conflict, 27% psychological dependence, 24% physical dependence and 9% mental illness/disorder or other cognitive impairment. (Source: Advocacy Tasmania)

Click here to read some case studies of Elder Abuse in Tasmania.