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Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse Key Trends:

Data from Age Concern New Zealand’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Service

-          More than three quarters of alleged abusers are family members

-          More than half of the alleged abusers are adult children and grandchildren

-          Alleged abusers are as likely to be female as male


 Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention (EANP) services receive more than 2,100 referrals of older people who may be facing elder abuse or neglect. That’s eight referrals every working day. 4 out of 5 of these situations are confirmed to involve elder abuse or neglect.  

 Abuse is also identified by other agencies including health providers, the police, lawyers, banks, other community support organisations, and other non-Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services.

Elder abuse is classified into different types. The abuse experienced by an older person/kaumātua usually involves more than one type of abuse. In the cases seen by Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services more than:

- Three quarters involved psychological abuse

- Over half involved financial abuse

- About 20% involved physical abuse

- About 20% involved neglect

- About 20% involved self-neglect

Who is involved?

- More than half of abused older people are over the age of 75

- Forty per cent of abused older people live alone

-  Half of alleged abusers are adult children or grandchildren

-  Abusers are as likely to be female as male.

- Less than 1 in 6 older people referred live in residential care

- More than three quarters of alleged abusers are family/whānau; and we know that some family/whānau members continue to abuse their older relatives even when that person is in residential care.

-  2 out of 5 alleged abusers live with the older person

-  In 1 out of 5 cases, the alleged abuser is financially dependent on the older person. This is fuelled by the housing shortage is resulting in an increase in adult children and grandchildren, many with substance abuse or mental health issues, moving back to live with their parents, often with little support from specialist services. Court requirements can also add pressure for older people to provide suitable accommodation for adult children and grandchildren such as for bail and other sentencing alternatives to imprisonment. 

Data obtained from the Age Concern National Database for 2015-2016

Our Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Service (EANP)

More than 4 out of 5 older people referred to our EANP services improved their wellbeing score after receiving professional intervention from our workers. This highlights the success of our service in not only stopping abuse but also in improving the wellbeing of elderly people, despite many of them choosing to remain in situations where their safety is compromised, and many having progressive health conditions.

For more information and contact details for services visit: www.ageconcern.org.nz or contact Age Concern Wanganui 06 345 1799 - info@ageconcernwanganui.co.nz


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