World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

COTA Tasmania invites you to join us on Friday 14 June as concerned Tasmanians Walk Against Elder Abuse in Hobart and Launceston.

The United Nations has designated 15 June World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On this day each year, communities all over the globe take a stand against the abuse of older people.

While the vast majority of people over 60 live active, healthy and productive lives, we must ensure that vulnerable older people are protected, respected and supported.

Elder abuse may involve physical or sexual abuse, taking an older person’s money or possessions, neglecting them, making threats or stopping their social contacts. It happens at the hands of an adult child or someone the older person trusts, and it often occurs in the family home.

Every state and territory in Australia has developed elder abuse strategies, led campaigns to raise awareness, and provided education about elder abuse and its effects. All states have also established an elder abuse helpline. Even so, older people continue to be abused.

We cannot be certain how many older Australians are being bullied, hurt, neglected or defrauded, but the Institute of Family Studies suggests it could be as many as 10%.

In February 2018 the Australian Attorney-General announced that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) would develop a National Plan to combat elder abuse. This is very welcome. However, legislative and legal responses to elder abuse will only work if they are aligned with a planned and integrated program of public education that supports cultural change.

If you require any information or guidance concerning elder abuse please contact the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities in 2018 were supported by the Tasmanian Government, the City of Launceston, the City of Hobart and Mathers House.