South Australian urged to do their part to help stop elder abuse

South Australians are being urged to respect older people’s rights, help spot the signs of elder abuse and speak up as part of the state’s annual Stop Elder Abuse campaign, which begins today.

Office for Ageing Well Director, Cassie Mason, said this year’s campaign will have a key focus on respecting the rights of older people.

“Older South Australians have the right to safety, dignity and autonomy – that is, to be safe, to be treated in a way that makes them feel worthwhile, and to be free to live the life they choose,” Ms Mason said.

“But one in 20 older people in our community is experiencing some form of abuse from someone they know and trust – often a member of their own family.

“That is why it is so important that every member of the community respects the rights of older South Australians and is aware of the signs of elder abuse and what they can do to help call it out.”

In South Australia, around 43 per cent of cases of elder abuse are financial, often coupled with emotional abuse, while older women are more likely to experience abuse, most commonly from an adult son.

“Elder abuse or mistreatment is an act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as a family member, friend or care giver,” Ms Mason said.

“Signs of elder abuse can be fear, sadness and neglect, and forms of mistreatment can be physical, social, financial, psychological, sexual or chemical, such as an over or under supply of medication.

“It is vital that families, friends and the broader community respect older people’s rights and if abuse is suspected, do something about it, in a way that upholds those rights.”

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