National Seniors has joined with other seniors and community legal groups to form a coalition to tackle elder abuse.
At the recent National Elder Abuse Conference, the group welcomed a National Plan announced by the Federal Government.
But the group said immediate funding was needed in the 2018-19 budgets of all governments across Australia to prevent and combat elder abuse.
In a conference statement, the group declared “there is no excuse not to act nationally now”.
National Seniors’ Chief Advocate Mr Henschke said a united, non-partisan response was essential.
Lewis Kaplan from OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) said organisations working with older people and aged care consumers were deeply concerned about the level of abuse in people’s homes, aged care facilities, and hospitals by staff, trusted family and friends.
“Those caring for vulnerable older people are mostly doing the right thing, but to those who are not, we say ‘there’s no excuse for elder abuse’ and we will do all in our power to prevent, mitigate and combat elder abuse – whatever form it takes,” Mr Kaplan said.
The conference was told that inheritance impatience was rife. Up to 10 per cent of older Australians were being abused, whether it be financial, legal, emotional, physical or plain neglect, with much of it hidden in families where victims did not know how to stop it.
National Seniors supported the call for more resources to educate older Australians, the broader community and service providers about ageism and elder abuse.
If you have concerns or need help, contact OPAN via the website or ring the helpline on 1800 700 600 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.