There’s no excuse for abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is this Friday 15 June.

World Elder Abuse Awareness, abuse, aged care, 15 June

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June aims to alert the community to the issue of abuse of older people by someone they should be able to trust. Abuse is a significant issue in our society and older people may not know that assistance is available from the Aged Right Advocacy Service (ARAS).

Abuse of older people can take many forms, however financial abuse is most common and is usually linked to intimidation. Older people are often hesitant to come forward with their experience of abuse.

“I signed these documents when I was very ill in hospital. I thought that I could trust my own daughter,” is a common story heard by people at ARAS.

Marie, 75, contacted ARAS because her adult daughter had a gambling addiction and bullied her into giving money which was never repaid. Another example of a typical ARAS customer is Fred, who was forcefully isolated from his friends.

Experiences such as Marie’s and Fred’s highlight that awareness of safeguards needs to be increased. ARAS has a range of printed material that provide information about some of the issues that people need to consider when they are planning for their future. The brochures include a Financial Safeguards 5 Brochure Kit and a Pocket Guide that helps people identify what abuse is and how to address it.

Other examples of abuse include using an older person’s bank card to access their funds, putting pressure on someone to change their Will or Enduring Power of Attorney, and borrowing money that isn’t paid back.

People experiencing abuse are encouraged to contact the ARAS Abuse Prevention Program for confidential information and advice to help them regain control of their life.

ARAS also provides confidential information and support to people concerned about aged care services, such as nursing homes, hostels or community services.

To speak to someone at ARAS or to order brochures, please call (08) 8232 5377 or 1800 700 600 (SA Country Callers).

ARAS is based in South Australia. Fore details of support organisations in your state or territory, read Support for the elderly.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    13th Jun 2012
    Elder abuse through parental alienation that denies access to grandchildren is common.

    Parental and grandparent alienation are linked. Overwhelmingly the offenders are controlling mothers who exert a proprietorial right over 'their' children.

    Sadly it would seem that the offenders in parental abuse and especially financial abuse of elderly parents are usually women as well, daughters and daughters-in-law, but other near women relatives as well.

    That circumstance does not help the elderly who have difficulty convincing anyone else that the 'helpful' daughter-in-law who is so concerned about their health and capacity to maintain that 'over-large' family home and garden, is actually weaseling the elder out of the estate to get the inheritance early and before anyone else can benefit from the Will.

    That happened to the elderly lady who owned the farm next to ours. On the pretext that the daughter wanted more time with mum and would care for her, she managed to lever elderly mum out of the property to a mean retirement unit in the city where she (daughter) had lived. The daughter took a redundancy package from her senior government job and moved to the farm with her recent 'love', evicting her hard-working but naive brother in the process. The brother who had missed out on education to care for the parents and the farm ended up in a disused shed as paid labour and the dear old mum ended up friendless in a strange city after having lived in the country all of her life.

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