Protect yourself from harm this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

NSW Trustee & Guardian is calling on the NSW community to protect themselves from harm this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Wednesday, 15 June 2022. It is estimated that one in six older Australians have experienced abuse, with only one-third of victims seeking help.

 

“Research tells us that sadly perpetrators are often adult children, close friends and acquaintances to the person who suffers the abuse,” said NSW Trustee & Guardian Acting CEO, Megan Osborne.

 

Elder abuse can take the form of financial, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, or neglect. While often hidden, malnourishment, large bank withdrawals, belongings disappearing, and unexplained accidents are all warning signs something isn’t right.

 

“It’s important to know what the warning signs are. Take notice if an older person doesn’t have money for essentials like food or clothing, or is unable to pay bills,” said Ms Osborne.

 

The agency also encourages people, particularly older people, to take steps to protect themselves before it’s too late.

 

“One important safeguard is to put in place important documents that assist in future decision-making, should you need them. This includes a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship appointment that lets you to choose someone you trust to manage your financial, legal and health decisions if you no longer can,” said Ms Osborne.

 

A NSW government agency, NSW Trustee & Guardian protects, promotes, and supports the rights, dignity, choices and wishes of its customers through services such as Will-making, estate planning, deceased estate administration, guardianship and financial management services.

 

The agency also provides Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship preparation services, which are at no charge for people on the full Centrelink Age Pension or equivalent.

 

“A Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship appointment are just as important as having a Will, they operate while you are still alive and can detail how you would like important decisions made for you when you can no longer make them yourself,” said Ms Osborne.

 

“Don’t leave them until it’s too late. Protect yourself now and ensure your wishes and preferences are clearly documented so they can be followed.”

 

To find out how NSW Trustee & Guardian can help you, visit www.tag.nsw.gov.au. If you are experiencing elder abuse or suspect someone is, contact the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221.

 

See the Elder Abuse Prevalence Study at https://aifs.gov.au/projects/national-elder-abuse-prevalence-study

 

9 June 2022.