World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Advocare encourages elders to speak out


Greg Mahney
Greg Mahney

ADVOCARE used World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Thursday to encourage older people who believe they are victims to speak out.

The Victoria Park-based organisation used the day to highlight that one in 20 older |people are the victims of elder abuse.

Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney said most perpetrators of elder abuse were family members.

“There are myriad reasons why it happens, including greed or impatience. They might see how much money mum or dad has and then start accessing the money themselves,” he said.

“They might have enduring power of attorney and it might be easier for them to get money out for their parents, but they might help themselves.

“There are examples where a son or daughter has given up on their career to help their mum and it’s strained their relationship, and so they snap and slap them or deprive them of a telephone or television.”

Mr Mahney said the organisation used World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to encourage older people to contact their hotline if they had any concerns.

“We have about 50 incidents of abuse reported to us each month but when you consider that one in 20 people experience it, that could be thousands of people,” he said.

“Some people are unaware they are being abused, or they have been stopped from calling.

“Our message this year is to make people aware that there is a thing called elder abuse and to let people know we are a confidential service.”

Mr Mahney said people who called the service could speak to one of their advocates and discuss issues and possible remedies.

“We help people understand the ramifications of any action and then they make the decision of what happens,” he said.

“We can organise a meeting between the advocate, the elderly person and their carer and police can be called in.

“We can refer people to legal services or in some cases refuges.”

The helpline can be accessed by calling 1300 724 679 between 8.30am and 4.30pm weekdays.

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