Council recently attended a Bellingen Shire Aged Care Network meeting and discovered that elder abuse is becoming more prevalent within Bellingen Shire. Council will therefore distribute resources throughout the community in order to bring more awareness to this issue.
Elders become vulnerable to abuse when there is an expectation of trust in a relationship, but neglect and inappropriate action lead to harm and distress. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial in nature and can be either intentional or unintentional.
Research suggests that as many as 50,000 older people in NSW may have experienced some form or abuse. It is also estimated that only one in five cases of elder abuse is reported (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2015).
If you think you might be experiencing elder abuse, please consider some of the following questions:
- Do you know how much money you have in your bank account?
- Do you have regular contact with family and friends?
- Are your personal care needs being met?
- Do you feel safe at home?
If you answered no to one or more of the above questions, it is possible you are experiencing elder abuse and may wish to contact the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit on 1800 628 221. Furthermore, if you are aware of an elder who might be suffering abuse, please use the above hotline to report the matter confidentially and anonymously.
Mayor Dominic King said, “Council respects and values community elders and endeavours to deliver programs and services that support them. It is incredibly important that elders feel safe, secure and connected and I urge anyone encountering abuse to seek the appropriate help”.
For more information on elder abuse, please visit www.elderabusehelpline.com.au or contact Councils Community Wellbeing Planning Officer, Anna Joy on 66557300.