The Elder Abuse Unit provides information, support and legal advice to people who have been impacted by elder abuse.
This free service is funded by the Federal Government and is available to people aged 65 years or over, living in metropolitan Adelaide.
Our qualified legal practitioners and social workers can provide support that includes:
- assessments for people who may be experiencing elder abuse
- legal advice and representation
- education and information
- counselling for abuse victims
- referrals to other services.
> What is elder abuseRead More
Elder abuse is the mistreatment or exploitation of an older person, commonly by someone they know and trust. Elder abuse can take on many forms, but most occurs within family relationships.
> What forms of elder abuse are there?Read More
There are various forms of elder abuse, including:
Older people can experience financial abuse when someone they know and trust accesses or uses their money or property illegally, unethically or inappropriately. Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, frequently occurring alongside psychological abuse. A typical example of financial abuse is where a child of the older person moves in and pays no rent or minimal rent.
Actions that cause mental anguish, fear of violence, and feelings of shame, humiliation and powerlessness to an older person are considered to be forms of psychological elder abuse. Threatening to put someone into a nursing home if they ‘don’t do as their told’ is one of the most common examples of psychological elder abuse.
Physical abuse of an older person can include inflicting pain or injury by hitting, slapping or restraining an older person. It can also include giving older people medication to sedate them when it is not necessary or giving a higher dose of a prescribed sedative. When older people continue to experience ongoing physical abuse by a spouse or intimate partner after the age of 65, this is considered elder abuse.
Any type of sexual assault or rape is considered elder abuse. Forcing an older person to watch pornography and engaging in any or other type of activity that causes an older person to feel uncomfortable about their body or gender is considered to be elder abuse.
Social abuse is considered to be any act of preventing a person from having social contact with family and friends or not being able to access their normal social activities and groups. Preventing someone from accessing a telephone is one of the most common forms of social elder abuse.
When a carer, either intentionally or unintentionally, fails to provide the necessities of life to an older person who depends on them, it is considered neglect. Examples of neglect include failing to provide adequate clothing, heating or cooling, food or water, shelter, dental or medical care.
Important: If you or anyone you know is experiencing elder abuse, or you have suspicions of abuse, please feel free to contact the Elder Abuse Unit for a free confidential telephone discussion. You can be assured that your information will be kept private and confidential.
Clinicians, support workers and other professionals can refer clients to the Elder Abuse Unit by phone, email, or by completing an online referral form. The Elder Abuse Unit operates between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays and weekends).