Abused el­ders are urged to speak out

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS -

ADVOCARE used World El­der Abuse Aware­ness Day to en­cour­age older peo­ple who be­lieve they are vic­tims to speak out.

The Vic­to­ria Park-based or­gan­i­sa­tion used the day, which was last Thurs­day, to high­light that one in 20 older peo­ple were the vic­tims of elderly abuse.

Advocare chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Mah­ney said the ma­jor­ity of per­pe­tra­tors of elderly abuse were fam­ily mem­bers.

“There are myr­iad rea­sons why it hap­pens, in­clud­ing greed or im­pa­tience; they might see how much money mum or dad has and then start ac­cess­ing the money them­selves,” he said.

“They might have en­dur­ing power of at­tor­ney and it might be eas­ier for them to get money out for their par­ents but they might help them­selves.

“There are ex­am­ples where a son or daugh­ter has given up on their ca­reer to help their mum and it’s strained their re­la­tion­ship and so they snap and slap them or de­prive them of a phone or tele­vi­sion.”

Mr Mah­ney said the or­gan­i­sa­tion used World El­der Abuse Aware­ness Day to en­cour­age older peo­ple to con­tact their hot­line if they had any con­cerns.

“We have about 50 in­ci­dents of abuse re­ported to us each month, but when you con­sider that one in 20 peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence it, that could be thou­sands of peo­ple,” he said.

“Some peo­ple are un­aware they are be­ing abused or they have been stopped from call­ing.

“Our mes­sage this year is to make peo­ple aware that there is a thing called el­der abuse and to let peo­ple know we are a con­fi­den­tial ser­vice.”

Mr Mah­ney said peo­ple who called the ser­vice could speak to one of their ad­vo­cates and dis­cuss is­sues and pos­si­ble reme­dies.

“We help peo­ple un­der­stand the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of any ac­tion and then they make the de­ci­sion of what hap­pens,” he said.

“We can or­gan­ise a meet­ing be­tween the ad­vo­cate, the elderly per­son and their carer and po­lice can be called in.”

The helpline is 1300 724 679 8.30am-4.30pm week­days.

Greg Mah­ney

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