Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. It can be emotional, psychological, financial, physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.

Responding to abuse in older populations requires a flexible and comunity based approach to accommodate different types of abuse, various cultural gorupings and the remote communities that occur within Queensland.

While age discrimination or 'ageism' is one factor to be considered the existing discrimination faced by minority groups can compound the effects of ageism. Other factors such as language barriers, access to culturally appropriate services, lack of a support infrastructure within some community groups, and so on, make detecting and responding appropriately to abuse in these communities a challenge. 

Rural and remote communities in Queensland present another set of challenges associated with distance, availability and access to services.

Signs that someone may be experiencing abuse

The person may be:

  • afraid of someone close to them
  • irritable, or shaking, trembling or crying
  • depressed or withdrawn, talking of suicide
  • uninterested in their usual interests
  • presenting as helpless, hopeless or sad
  • worried or anxious for no obvious reason
  • reluctant to talk openly.

They may:

  • change their sleeping patterns or eating habits
  • have a rigid posture
  • make contradictory statements not associated with mental confusion
  • wait for another person to answer rather than answer questions themselves
  • radically change their behaviour.

How to get help

If someone is experiencing abuse it is important that they know that there is a range of options available to them. These may included introducing support or counselling services, arranging respite care, spearatign the victim from the abuse situation, finding alternative accommodation or taking legal action.

The Elder Abuse Helpline provides free and confidetnial advice for anyone experiencing elder abuse or who suspects someone they know may be experiencing elder abuse. Call 1300 651 192 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The Seniors' Legal and Support Service (SLASS) provides free legal advice, information and social work services for people over 60. Call 07 3214 6333 or visit the SLASS webpage on the Caxton Legal Centre Inc website for more information.

The Office of the Public Guardian is an independent statutory body that protects the rights and interests of vulnerable Queenslanders, including adults with impaired capacity to make their own decisions. They can investigat allegations of harm or abuse against people with impaired capacity. Call 1300 653 187 visit the OPG website.

In an emergency, if someone is in imminent danger call the police on triple zero (000).

More information

The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit (EAPU) promotes the right of older people to live free from abuse. The EAPU website provides a range of information and resources including training manuals, information sheets and links to relevant sites.

decorative
A son skims his elderly mother’s savings by using her keycard to buy things for himself. A daughter moves in with her dad to provide care, and ends up using intimidation and threats to force him to change his will for her benefit. Sadly, these are real examples of elder abuse that are happening...
decorative
Queensland Government media release The Palaszczuk Government has urged Queenslanders to join the fight against elder abuse on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD – 15 June), as new figures reveal a spike in the number of reported cases. Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Elder Abuse...
decorative
Show your support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) , on Thursday 15 June, the day is designated by the United Nations as a time where we join together to voice our opposition to the abuse, neglect and suffering inflicted on older people. Elder Abuse is a single or repeated act which...
decorative
The Digital Economy and Productivity team, within the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, is touring the state with the Digital Skills for all Queenslanders Regional Roadshow, this month. The roadshow allows people in regional towns to interact with exciting digital...
decorative
Queensland Government’s vision is to build an age-friendly state in which all Queenslanders, regardless of their age, can stay active and connected, and contribute economically, socially and culturally. Over three years, $1 million per annum will be available through open funding rounds to seed...
decorative
An age-friendly community grants program is open to organisation's for local projects and initiatives to enhance the age-friendliness of communities across Queensland. The Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program is open to organisations who can display a strong correlation...
Media Statement Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman Financial assistance is now available for south-east Queensland’s not-for-profit organisations that have been affected...
The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services' (DCCDS) Community Recovery section is encouraging individuals, carers and service providers in the DCCSDS North and Far North Queensland area to be prepared in relation to Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The likely impacts of a tropical...
decorative
Queensland Government media release Community organisations and councils across Queensland can apply for subsidies of up to $1000 to help fund local events during Seniors Week 2017, to be held from 19-27 August. Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the subsidies were a great way to help...
Christmas and the holiday season can be a challenging time of year for many people. A number of services are available to help those in need during this time. 13Family (13 32 64) hotline Mums and Dads across Queensland are urged to call 13Family (13 32 64) for extra support if times are tough this...

Pages

Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner provides a free, independent service for anyone to raise concerns about the qulaity of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services funded by the Australian Government. Their functions are to: Resolve complaints about aged care...
The Department of Social Services helps to support seniors through programs and services and benefits and payments, and through grants and funding for organisations providing services for seniors. Find out more: access the seniors page of the Department of Social Services
National Seniors was established by a group of visionary Queenslanders in 1976. Now, almost 40 years on, with over 200,000 members, 140 branches, and 70 employees, it is the consumer lobby for older Australians and the fourth largest organisation of its type in the world. National Seniors provides...
The Australian Pensioners’ and Superannuants’ League, Qld Inc. (APSL) is a voluntary support, referral, information, advocacy and lobby group with members of varying ages but with one thing in common: we are people who are receiving various types of pensions with some living partly on...
COTA Queensland connects with seniors to understand their needs and priorities through connecting with networks and resources to strengthen the voice of seniors and enhance their lives. COTA Queensland aims to create a more just, fair and caring community. It’s a community where seniors can easily...
The Department of Communities through the Office for Seniors has the lead role across government for ageing and older people's issues. We share this responsibility with other relevant government agencies, including health, housing, disability and transport. We value the significant contributions...
The Queensland Disaster Management website and the Get Ready website have a range of information and useful resources that can assist you to plan and prepare for an emergency. As part of your preparedness and planning for weather events, access regular weather forecast updates from the Bureau of...
SANE Australia's Aged Care Project focuses on solutions for a growing area of concern, the increasing number of Australians living with mental illness facing the challenges of growing older. The SANE guide to ageing well has been developed for older people who live with mental illness, their family...
The My Aged Care website has been established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system. The Gateway is part of the Australian Government's changes to the aged care system which have been designed to give people more choice, more control and easier access to a full...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
Aged care is an important component of Australia’s health system. The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) considered that significant reform is needed to the aged care system, including its relationship to the rest of the health system, if it is to meet the challenges of an...
National Seniors Australia have produced a number of fact sheets where you can find out more about topics such as the aged pension, supperannuation, vision impairment and aged care reform. Find out more: access the fact sheets
The Queensland Government has an in-depth seniors portal where you can find information and resources on: retirement recreation and staying connected health home support and housing legal, finance and concessions safety and protection transport education work and technology grandparenting Find out...
Youth and Family Service (Logan City) Inc – have developed their YFS Service Delivery Handbook , published in 2012, which they would like to share with the Sector. Youth and Family Service (Logan City) Inc. (YFS) is a community based, not-for-profit organisation, providing planned, innovative...
Caring for your community: A Career in Aged Care for Bilingual Staff (2007). A booklet to address the growing need for bilingual workers in aged care.
This publication, produced in collaboration with the Aged Services Unit of Southern Cross University, is the sixth in The Benevolent Society's series of Community Aged Care Research to Practice Briefings. These briefings are designed to make it easier for community aged care workers and managers to...

Pages

An Act to promote equality of opportunity for everyone by protecting them from unfair discrimination in certain areas of activity and from sexual harassment and certain associated objectionable conduct .
Power of Attorney A power of attorney is a formal document allowing someone else to make decisions on your behalf; both personl and financial. This person can apply for a Domestic Violence Order on the behalf of someone experiencing domestic and family violence. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998...
All service providers operating in Queensland are required to comply with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has jurisdiction to hear and decide complaints about contraventions of this Act. Frequently Asked Questions There are also...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...
decorative
Author: 
Domnica Sparkes, UnitingCare Queensland Elder Abuse Prevention Unit Project Officer

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls each year on 15 June and is denoted by the colour purple which, represents wisdom, dignity, independence and creativity.

Each year, between five to 10 per cent of older people are victims of abuse or mistreatment.  Much of this is unreported and many...

Author: 
Queensland Council of Social Service

The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) recently released a new report revealing the interrelated nature of poverty and disadvantage, highlighting key areas in Queensland which need to be addressed with better targeted programs, policies and investment.

...

A screenshot of the Care Opinion website
Author: 
Michael Greco, Care Opinion Australia

Care Opinion is an independent, not-for-profit new web site which enables people to post their experiences of local social care services online, and in public (eg aged care, youth and disability care). ...

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print