Crackdown on elder abuse

Article published 26 September 2019

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THE NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner has warned retirement village operators that they have a responsibility under the law to prevent elder abuse.

During a speech at the Retirement Living Council’s annual NSW conference, the Commissioner stated that retirement village operators must prove that they can be trusted.

At the same conference Kathryn Greiner, the NSW Government’s retirement village ambassador, said that if retirement villages want to stamp out abuse and enhance care it needs to start at the top. However, Ms Greiner said that when things go wrong and the message goes up “there is nobody home”.

Meanwhile, the ACT is legislating to make elder abuse a crime. ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said, “We have started working on a proposed specific criminal offence relating to elder abuse in the ACT”.

ACT’s proposed elder abuse legislation has been compared to laws protecting victims of domestic violence and police and ambulance officers. These are existing laws that protect vulnerable people in the community. An elder abuse law would specifically protect vulnerable older people in the ACT.

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