The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) report on elder abuse was released in June.
The report includes a total of 43 recommendations aimed at providing better legal safeguards from misuse or abuse for older people. The recommendations cover the aged care sector; banking, financial and superannuation institutions; and adult safeguarding regimes to better support those at risk.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person”.
Elder abuse can take different forms including physical, psychological or emotional, financial and sexual abuse, and can also arise from intentional or unintentional neglect. WHO estimates that around 15% of people 60 years and over experience abuse, and many cases go unreported.
A copy of the Commission’s Summary Report can be found on the ALRC website www.alrc.gov.au/publications/elder-abuse-report .
If you, or someone you know, would like more information about elder abuse, you can contact the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit (free call 1800 628 221), or visit their website at www.elderabusehelpline.com.au/. Similar helpline services are available in other Australian states.