One in ten seniors experience elder abuse

It's not OK ... Age Concern Ashburton's Carol O'Reilly, left, and Trish Small have set up a display of information on elder abuse in the Ashburton arcade.

Abuse of our elderly folk is hitting closer to home than people think.

It may be hidden in our community, but it is out there and knows no socio-economic boundaries.

A display set up by Age Concern Ashburton vice-president Trish Small and executive committee member Carol O’Reilly in the Ashburton Arcade has a range of information for people about Elder Abuse including endearing power of attorney processes and support agencies.

It was set up for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) but will remain in the arcade until this Thursday.

Mrs Small said nationally 75 percent of elder abuse was done by family members and of those family members, 59 percent were children and grandchildren.

“It’s to raise awareness about a very difficult issue for older people to accept and realise they can do something about it,” she said.

One in ten seniors will experience elder abuse and many fear alienation from family, which is a big issue, she said.

Abuse could include financial, psychological or physical abuse, sexual and institutional abuse, or even neglect, and anyone concerned about a family member, friend or neighbour could ring the free, confidential phone line for advice on 0800 326 6865 or make contact with Age Concern Ashburton.

People could also call if they just wanted to talk to someone about their concerns.

Historically, Age Concern’s Elder Abuse services get around 10 referrals every working day of older people facing elder abuse or neglect.