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 friend, family member or carer. It is generally underreported but it can significantly impact the health, wellbeing and independence of older people.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 aims to raise awareness of elder abuse and encourage action to protect and safeguard the rights of older people.

Elder abuse can be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and include mistreatment or neglect. It can also include the denial or violation of human rights such as the right to live safely, be treated with respect and dignity and make decisions.

Sometimes family, friends and carers may not even be aware that their actions are a form of elder abuse. It is important to listen to and respect the wishes of older people even if you don’t agree.

Elder abuse is everyone’s business – it’s vital to report it or encourage people to seek help:

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero – 000.
  • If you suspect, witness or experience elder abuse, call the National Elder Abuse Hotline on 1800 353 374.