World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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Everyone has the right to live their lives free from abuse.

Respect older people and call out ageism, listen to older people and their carers and check in with vulnerable older people. Elder abuse is hard to picture, but it happens everyday. What starts out small doesn't always stay that way for long.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. Abuse can be unintentional or deliberate. The harm caused to an older person may range from the unintended effects of poor care through to serious physical injury inflicted deliberately. Harm can also include emotional harm and financial loss including the loss of a home and belongings.

Any older person can be affected by elder abuse and it’s not uncommon for an older person to be affected by more than one type.

Signs a person may be experiencing elder abuse:

  • act fearfully or withdrawing
  • may be hungry, thirsty or has lost weight
  • show signs of stress, anxiety or depression
  • may show signs of bruising or other physical injuries
  • unable to find money for basics such as food, clothing and common bills.

What to do if you suspect elder abuse is occurring or you are experiencing elder abuse

If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of elder abuse, you can discuss these concerns with a trusted family member, GP or physician. For further information and for independent advice, contact one of the specialist organisations listed below.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

Individuals, communities, municipalities and organisations will come together across the globe to hold events on 15 June that raise awareness of elder abuse.

Visit the WEAAD website

Respect older people: call it out

Elder abuse is hard to picture, but it happens every day. What starts out small doesn't always stay that way for long.

Visit the Respect older people: call it out campaign

OPERA: Older People, Equity, Respect and Ageing

The OPERA project is a partnership between Eastern Community Legal Centre and Swinburne University. The project engages with older people in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne about how ageing and age discrimination is experienced in our community.

It is every individual's right to feel safe, respected and valued.

The aim of the OPERA Project is to ensure that older people feel valued and respected in our community by challenging some of the harmful beliefs and attitudes that can lead to discrimination on the basis of age.

Learn more about the OPERA Project.

How you can stop elder abuse

  • stay connected in the community
  • plan for future
  • seek independent advice
  • develop a support network of trusted friends and professionals
  • seek help

If you need help, ask for it as soon as possible. Abuse doesn’t stop by itself.

Get help and assistance

Seniors Rights Victoria
Phone: 1300 368 821

Eastern Community Legal Centre
Phone: 9762 6235

Relationships Australia Victoria
Phone: 9261 8700