The number of Queenslanders seeking help and advice about elder abuse is continuing to grow as more people become aware of the seriousness of this issue and the support available.
Almost 1500 elder abuse notifications were made to the Palaszczuk Government-funded Elder Abuse Helpline during the 2017-18 financial year.
Minister for SeniorsCoralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government was working hard to raise awareness of this important social issue.
“As more and more Queenslanders become aware of the issue of elder abuse, we are seeing notifications to the Helpline increasing each year,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“This increase can be attributed in large part to a greater awareness of this issue and because victims and witnesses are becoming more willing to report this insidious form of abuse.
“We can no longer allow elder abuse to be swept under the carpet and treated as a private matter that should be kept in the family – we all need to take a stand and protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government continues to run the ‘There’s no excuse for elder abuse’ campaign each year to raise awareness, break down stigmas, and encourage people to call the Helpline if they suspect someone is experiencing elder abuse.
“Thousands of community groups, non-government organisations, councils, libraries and hospitals across the state receive posters, brochures and help cards as part of this campaign.
“Calls to the helpline have increased, both during and after this campaign.”
The Palaszczuk Government provides $730,000 to Elder Abuse Prevention Unit (EAPU), which operates the Elder Abuse Helpline as a safety net for older Queenslanders.
Mrs O’Rourke said the Helpline provides free and confidential advice for anyone experiencing elder abuse, or for those who suspect someone they know may be experiencing elder abuse.
“The EAPU’s data shows financial abuse is now the most reported type of elder abuse in Queensland,” she said.
“This includes pension theft, theft, misuse of cards, extortion, refusal to repay loans or return assets, and misuse of an enduring power of attorney.”
Mrs O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to preventing, responding to and raising awareness of all forms of elder abuse.
“This commitment is supported by a $4.6 million investment this financial year for elder abuse prevention and support services,” she said.
“Additionally, $400,000 per year for the next three years has been allocated to provide specialist financial advice through 10 seniors legal and support services.
“The Palaszczuk Government is working with the Commonwealth and all State and Territory governments to develop the National Plan on Elder Abuse”.
People who are concerned that an elderly person is being abused and in need of assistance can call the Elder Abuse helpline on 1300 651 192.