Age Concern is raising awareness of elder abuse during Elder Abuse Awareness Week from 15-22 June 2018 which begins on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June 2018.
The main goal for Age Concern New Zealand is to make sure older people in distress or those feeling vulnerable know that can reach out to their local Age Concern for free and confidential information, advice and help.
Something many people find shocking is that elder abuse often happens within families. Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephanie Clare says that the shame or stigma means people don’t always report abuse happening within their family.
“This is one of the reasons it stays hidden. Many older people feel ashamed their own flesh and blood are treating them badly, so they won’t talk about it,”
“If you are worried about the safety of an older person/kaumātua please get in touch. Our staff will listen to your concerns and offer to assess the situation. We are here to help!” she says.
Age Concern have an average of nine calls per day about older people suspected of being abused or neglected. In three quarters of these cases, abuse or neglect is confirmed
Unfortunately Age Concern elder abuse statistics show that:
79 % of cases include psychological abuse
54% of cases involve financial abuse
76% of alleged abusers are family members
60% of the alleged abusers are adult children or grandchildren
Alleged abusers are as likely to be female as male
It’s not OK – Age Concern New Zealand needs help stopping elder abuse in our communities. We need families to stand up and make sure they all play a part protecting our older people and asking for our help if they suspect any abuse is happening.
If you suspect and older person is not being treated well or want to report abuse please visit www.ageconcern.org.nz for the contact details of the nearest Age Concern.
If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, and someone’s safety is at risk please call the emergency services on 111.
You can also show support by donating to Age Concern New Zealand or signing up as a Age Concern Dignity Champion
Sign up as an Age Concern Dignity Champion
Age Concern strives to create a New Zealand in which everyone is valued, supported and empowered no matter how old they are. However, this is not the society we live in – not yet. That’s where you come in. We need New Zealanders from all walks of life to join us and become Age Concern Dignity Champions.
An Age Concern Dignity Champion pledges to:
1. Reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual
2. Speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old
3. Have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people
4. Not patronise older people
5. Be patient, polite and friendly
6. Have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect
7. Build relationships – they combat isolation and loneliness by getting to know the older people in their lives.