What exactly is elder abuse? Elder abuse can be defined as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, such as in circumstances of neglect, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This may occur in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust between the older person and the person responsible for the abuse or neglect. These relationships may involve family, friends, carers or service providers.
Changes in personal living arrangements, ongoing or developing health issues, and supporting adult children through hardship are circumstances that can create fertile ground for elder abuse. Commonly accepted types of elder abuse include neglect, sexual, physical, financial, social and psychological abuse. Often people experience more than one form of abuse at a time.
Free support services for people experiencing elder abuse exist around the country. These include services which provide legal help and social work and mediation support. For more information on the free help which is available visit the Community Legal Centres Australia website.
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