All Queenslanders have a role to play in preventing elder abuse
15 June 2021
June 15 is designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and, in support, we are calling on Queenslanders to raise awareness of elder abuse.
The Public Trustee of Queensland and CEO, Samay Zhouand, said World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings a timely reminder to the prevalence of elder abuse and the role we all play in protecting the older members of our community.
“Elder abuse is a complex issue that is easily hidden and often difficult to identify,” Mr Zhouand said.
“Most cases of financial elder abuse that the Public Trustee investigate involve direct family members, trusted friends or caregivers, or those who have been appointed as an enduring power of attorney when someone loses capacity.
“This makes recognising and reporting abuse more complicated as many older people would prefer to preserve relationships with their friends and family,” Mr Zhouand said.
Issues such as ageism and entitlement assumptions can be catalysts of elder abuse. Perpetrators often exploit situations, playing on factors such as family responsibility, dependency, and contribution as justification.
Actions or perceptions that under-value the older members of our community contribute to higher risks of elder abuse and often reduce opportunities for seniors to exercise self-determination and their human rights.
The Public Trustee is committed to safeguarding the financial futures of Queenslanders through our community education and awareness programs. Promoting elder abuse preventative factors is a vital step in empowering the community to take action to protect themselves from financial abuse and exploitation.
We are calling on Queenslanders to do their part to foster a society of empowerment, connection, respect, and support to stamp out elder abuse in our community.
“Coming together, celebrating the contributions we make to society, and highlighting the importance of equal representation and participation for all people will start the change in some of the root causes of elder abuse.
“Solidarity across generations promotes respect and value for all people, regardless of age and is an important prevention mechanism in reducing the risk and impact of elder abuse,” Mr Zhouand said.
Everyone has the right to live free from abuse, but we know it’s the empowered and supported that speak out.
If you see signs of elder abuse or have any suspicions, please contact the Elder Abuse Helpline: 1300 651 192.
For more information visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/elder-abuse-awareness-day
Media Manager – Public Trustee
0466 320 688