Elder abuse is global and comes in many forms including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, and also neglect. Regardless of their condition, elderly people deserve the same dignity and respect as people of all other age groups.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Often they are unable to defend themselves, or seek help, due to fear and infirmity. Identifying and challenging abuse in the elderly isn’t easy. Some are isolated having outlived family and friends, and some are abused in institutions where abuse is not visible or may be covered up.
How can Elder Abuse and Neglect be Prevented?
Age Concern works towards preventing elder abuse and neglect by encouraging us all to:
- Respect older people / kaumātua
- Support older people / kaumātua to make their own decisions
- Check that older people / kaumātua’s human rights are met
- Ensure that older people / kaumātua live safe and secure, free from violence
- Challenge ageist attitudes that denigrate the value of the older generation
If you or an older person/kaumātua you know is being abused contact your medical centre or see the Age Concern NZ website
This Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Age Concern has launched a new quiz to help people better understand this issue.