Elder abuse day an opportunity for change
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day provides a focus on violations of the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our community, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan said.
“Elder Abuse Day draws attention to this disturbing issue, reminding us that more should be done to protect the human rights of our elders,” said Commissioner Ryan.
Elder abuse can take many forms, and tragically, it often takes place where elderly people should feel safe – in their homes or in places where they are receiving care or advice.
“As well as physical abuse, we hear of situations where a carer fails to provide the necessities of life to an older person – such as adequate food, clothing, medical or nursing care – or fails to respect spiritual or cultural needs,” Commissioner Ryan said.
Cases of financial and psychological abuse from family and friends also occur. The improper use of an older person’s finances or property, or bullying demands from family or friends for control of money or property, are not uncommon, according to National Seniors.
“A day like Elder Abuse Day is an opportunity to acknowledge that the basic rights of older people to dignity, choice, security and, privacy should always be protected,” said Commissioner Ryan.
“We need to ensure that the human rights of our older people are central to laws, policies, guidelines, standards and training that relate to their care, whether that be physical, financial or psychological, as well as to our daily interactions with our elders.”
See also Respect for Seniors.