World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is coming up – do you know the signs of elder abuse, or where to go for help?
12 June 2023
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June 2023) Queensland’s Public Guardian Shayna Smith is encouraging everyone to know the potential signs of elder abuse and where to turn to for help.
“Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is often carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend,” Ms Smith said.
“Elder abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect, or self-neglect.
“No matter what form it takes, elder abuse is never acceptable, and help is available.”
The warning signs of elder abuse can include:
- an older person seeming fearful, anxious or isolated
- unexplained injuries, or an absence of personal care
- unexplained changes to legal documents or finances.
“Combatting elder abuse is the responsibility of everyone in the community, but it often occurs behind closed doors. It is important for people to watch out for signs of potential elder abuse, check in with the affected person and know where to go for help and advice,” Ms Smith said.
The Elder Abuse Helpline provides free, anonymous and confidential assistance for anyone experiencing elder abuse or concerned about another person. You can contact the Helpline by calling 1300 651 192 (from within Queensland) between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. In case of emergency or if you have concerns for immediate harm, always call 000.
The Office of the Public Guardian will join other stakeholders at a World Elder Abuse Prevention Day event at South Bank hosting an information stall and providing information.
Older people can reduce the risk of elder abuse by making sure their financial, medical, legal and other affairs are in order. Resources to help plan ahead are available on the Office of the Public Guardian website at www.publicguardian.qld.gov.au/planahead.
For more information, contact the Office of the Public Guardian via email at Comms@publicguardian.qld.gov.au or phone 1300 653 187.
Further information on the Office of the Public Guardian’s role in investigating potential elder abuse is available online at www.publicguardian.qld.gov.au.