Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Frankly, it’s pretty sad that we even need an Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  What a tragedy that our elderly need a special day to call out this appalling behavior.

This day was first established in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and has been commemorated on 15 June each year since that time. In turn, it was officially recognised by the United Nationals General Assembly in 2011.

What is Elder Abuse Awareness Day About?

The aim of Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to highlight and eliminate abuse against older people. Abuse can come in the form of physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuse or neglect.

Elder abuse is a global issue that affects millions of older people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that one in six people over age 60 have suffered abuse. However, much abuse goes unreported or unnoticed and only one-third of those impacted seek help. The alleged perpetrators are usually family, carers and close friends, and often those who hold a power of attorney.

Often, the elderly don’t want to get their perpetrators ‘into trouble.’  They can also be facing fear or shame about the abuse that is being committed against them.

What does it Look Like?

The most prevalent forms of abuse are financial abuse and neglect. Often called ‘inheritance impatience’; some with pressing personal financial concerns feel ‘entitled’ to take cash for themselves before they’re due.  This can be as simple as stealing from the nightstand or purse, to forcing family members to change their Wills or other estate planning documents.

Did you know that financial advisers have an obligation under their Code of Ethics to look out for elder abuse and ensure all actions are in the best interest of the client, not other family members.

For instance, older clients may be experiencing some frailty and become increasingly dependency on others. The best form of prevention however, is education and awareness.

If you’d like to discuss your situation, contact the advisers at Trusted Aged Care on 07 5610 4909.

Or if you feel uncomfortable and wish to discuss a situation you’ve noticed, reach out to the Elder Abuse Action Australia site for more resources.

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