Elder Abuse

Elder abuse, or the mistreatment of older people, affects people from all walks of life, regardless of culture, education or social status. Elder abuse can be unintentional or deliberate and occurs within the trusted confines of family, friends, care facilities and neighbourhood.

The World Health Organisation defines elder abuse as, “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person”.

With no legal definition of elder abuse law and no specific legislation in Australia, abuse of the elderly can take various forms. Often situations involve “multiple abuses” where two or more types of abuse are occurring simultaneously, such as:

  • Emotional or psychological inflicting anguish;
  • Financial or ecomonic;
  • Institutional;
  • Physical;
  • Neglect or deprivation;
  • Sexual, or
  • Social abuse.

The “ultimate betrayal” or financial abuse of the elderly is often carried out by members of the person’s own family.

As elder abuse is often hidden away from the public eye, many cases go unreported, leaving many senior citizens powerless and without a voice.

Abuse can occur anywhere, including in:

  • Someone's own home;
  • Residential care;
  • A carer's home or transportation vehicle;
  • Day or respite care;
  • Nursing homes, or
  • Hospitals.

At Bennett & Philp Lawyers, our elder abuse law specialists can provide legal advice about abuse of the elderly, including:

  • Prevention and the application of safeguards and intervention strategies;
  • Empowerment;
  • Protection, and 
  • Justice.

If you have concerns about elder abuse or elder law Bennett & Philp Lawyers are here to help you. Call our Elder Abuse Law Team on T: +61 7 3001 2999. There is no excuse for elder abuse.

Information about abuse and abuse prevention is also available from the Queensland Government funded, Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, on T: 1300 651 192.