Almost 10 per cent of older Australians were being abused whether it was financial, legal, emotional, physical or plain neglect, according to advocacy bodies, seniors groups and community legal services which include National Seniors Australia, Elder Abuse Action Australia and Older Persons Advocacy Network.
The organisations welcomed a National Plan on Elder Abuse and said the immediate funding was needed in the 2018-19 budgets of all governments across Australia to support efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse.
Of those 10 per cent of older Australians who were being abused, much of the abuse were hidden in families where victims did not know how to stop it.
At the recent National Elder Abuse Conference, spokesperson Lewis Kaplan said that the complex nature of elder abuse required a full Council of Australian Governments’ response.
“Elder abuse requires multi-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional, multi-sectoral responses supported across political party lines, so a united and prompt response in essential,” he said.
“We need resources to educate older Australians, the broader community and service providers about ageism and elder abuse, resources to promote elder abuse helplines more effectively, and resources to employ advocates, lawyers and social workers to engage with victims and their families,” Mr Kaplan said.
“The need for funding to support an effective response to the increasing epidemic of elder abuse is both urgent and important,” Kaplan said.