World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Victoria Park-based organisation encourages victims to speak out

Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney.
Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney.

ADVOCARE is using World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to encourage older people who believe they are victims to speak out.

The Victoria Park-based organisation says that one in 20 older people are the victims of elderly abuse.

Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney said that the majority of perpetrators of elderly abuse were family members.

“There are a myriad of 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 our 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 would use 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 abuse, 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.

“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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