Shocking as it may be, there are elders in our community who suffer at the hands of abuse.
Relationships Australia is working with families to negotiate the complex issues related to ageing and to reduce the incidence of the abuse of older people across Australia.
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, providing an opportunity for communities globally to advocate for those affected by abuse of older people, raise awareness of the signs that someone is suffering from an abusive relationship and promote avenues for securing help.
National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia Nick Tebbey, says World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a reminder for all of us to be aware. ‘Check in with our vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours, to ensure their care adequately addresses their unique situation and needs, in a manner that enhances their quality of life.’
WHO estimates 1 in 6 people aged 60+ have been abused
The World Health Organisation estimates that, worldwide, almost 1 in 6 (16%) of people aged 60 and over have been abused, and that many more instances may go unreported.
‘Relationships Australia believes that all people, regardless of their age, should be able to live their lives free from any kind of abuse, and should be supported to have happy and healthy relationships with all those around them,’ sais Mr Tebbey.
‘Relationships Australia offers counselling and dispute resolution services to families with ageing-related family issues across more than 30 sites nationally.
‘In addition, Relationships Australia is currently delivering four case management and mediation service trials addressing the abuse of older people across Australia, funded by the Australian Government as part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians.
‘These trials are being conducted by Relationships Australia Queensland, Relationships Australia Northern Territory, Relationships Australia Canberra and Region, and Relationships Australia Western Australia.
Services and supports are available across the country
‘Relationships can be difficult to manage at times, but services and supports are available across the country, to assist you.
‘Older people are important members of our community, be they family, friends or neighbours. We encourage everyone to get to know the older people around you and to support them to live their best lives.’ said Mr Tebbey.
To align with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020, Relationships Australia has launched its latest survey, which looks at awareness of abuse of older people in our society as well as attitudes towards older people. Results from this survey will be finalised 1 August 2020.
This survey is part of a series. If you would like to sign up to our mailing list to hear about the others, you can do so here.
Relationships Australia is the home of Neighbour Day, encouraging social connections to tackle loneliness, which disproportionately effects older people in Australia.