Forum to address abuse of older people

A recent report on elder abuse shows phone calls to elder abuse helplines around Australia have nearly doubled since the 2013/2014 financial year.

Figures from the National Elder Abuse Annual Report 2014/2015 show that information calls to elder abuse agencies have increased by 106 percent – from 3159 in 2013/2014 to 6515 in 2014/2015.

The report, prepared by Advocare – Western Australia’s peak elder abuse support agency, provides the second snapshot of national elder abuse, and demonstrates the importance of raising the profile of elder abuse in order to protect older people.

Abuse older persons can come in many forms – financial, psychological, social, physical and sexual abuse, and neglect.

Speaking this week, Rev. Greg Woolnough, minister at Wesley Castle Hill Uniting Church said the report showed that 39 percent of elder abuse cases included psychological abuse – which can include mistreatment involving verbal intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of various forms, withholding affection, removing decision making power, and an enduring guardian acting inappropriately.

He added “this was followed closely by financial abuse which was reported in 37 percent of cases”. The report revealed that 1,571 cases were in NSW, the third highest behind Queensland (4,059) and Victoria (2,545).

Later this month (September) Wesley Castle Hill Uniting Church will be hosting a free community forum on this important topic.

Entitled “Don’t abuse the fact that I am old – Addressing the Issues”, the forum will be held on Monday 26 September 2016 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at the Wesley Uniting Church, 32 Showground Road, Castle Hill.

Mr Woolnough said that three well qualified speakers would comprise the panel to speak on the issue from their perspective and then participate in a Q & A session with the audience.

“We are delighted that Ms Margaret Strahan, Residential Operations Manager, Central Coast/Hunter/New England, Uniting will be joined by Ms Nalika Padmasena, Solicitor, Seniors Rights Service and NSW Police’s Hills Local Area Commander, Superintendent Rob Critchlow on our panel”, Mr Woolnough added.

The forum is free, no bookings are required and all members of the community are invited