What is Elder Abuse?
“Elder Abuse and Neglect is 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.”*
(* Definition adopted from WHO Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse)
Most people in our community value older people, recognising their contributions as family and community members, and in the work force. However, sadly abuse and neglect of elders in our community is becoming increasingly common. Elder abuse and neglect is an umbrella term referring to a range of harms that may take place in the home, in the community, in residential care facilities and in hospitals. Elder abuse and neglect often stems from attitudes that are ageist and disrespectful of older people.
Elder Abuse can be financial/property abuse; physical abuse; emotional abuse; neglect; sexual abuse or institutional abuse.
Many older people can be subjected to multiple forms of abuse. Not all abuse and neglect is obvious or visible, meaning that problems can go undetected, unreported and un-addressed for long periods.
To find out more about Elder Abuse, including some of the factors that increase the likelihood of abuse and how you can get help, visit The Age Concern NZ website.
As from 1 July 2017, local support and assistance regarding Elder Abuse is provided by Age Concern Canterbury through their Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) in the Timaru area.
If you or a family member are concerned about potential elder abuse or neglect, you can: