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New national body to support victims of elder abuse

Article image for New national body to support victims of elder abuse

Older Australians who have suffered financial or physical abuse will now be able to access expert help from a single source.

Peak groups from every state are joining forces under a new national body being launched in Sydney.

Close to 80,000 older Australians have suffered physical violence at the hands of someone known to them and many others have been financially exploited often by a family member.

Elder Abuse Action Australia, the first group to specifically target elder abuse, aims to protect the rights of the older generation.

Director of the organisation Jenny Blakey tells Ben Fordham financial abuse will be one of the key focuses of the body.

“It’s one of the main forms of abuse older people experience.”

She says “people are very trusting, particularly family members”.

“People sign things over and not realise what they’ve done.”

Listen to the full interview with Jenny Blakey below

Director of the Australian Institue of Family Studies Anne Hollonds says the issue of elderly abuse is “unthinkable” but is a reality for many Australians.

“In a way, the problem of abuse against the vulnerable elderly in our community is the next, and perhaps final, frontier of addressing some of those really unpleasant truths about how people can hurt the ones they should be caring for,” she tells Ross Greenwood.

Ms Hollonds says we don’t understand the extent of the problem yet but more research and the establishment of the peak body will help shine a light on the prevalence of abuse.

“The situation in which this occurs are incredibly varied.

“As you said… it often is to do with younger people in the family, younger adults usually, who really are impatient for that transfer of wealth.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Anne Hollonds

Ben Fordham