World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is important to you!

Article published 14 June 2023

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is important to you!

You may thinks it's just another Day-of-This-or-That, but this is actually a day that matters to anyone who knows someone older: anyone!

TOMORROW, 15 June 2023, tomorrow, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

It’s a United Nations initiative and an opportunity to voice our collective opposition to the abuse of older people and promote their right to live in safety in their family, home and community.

New South Wales is the only jurisdiction in Australia to have an Ageing and Disability Commissioner, who was appointed a few years ago as a first responder to reports about disability and elder abuse.

The Commission was created around the already existing NSW Elder Abuse Helpline, for which CPSA campaigned.  The scope of the helpline was expanded to include disability and the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline was established as a place to contact for information, support or to make a report.

Anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that an adult with disability or older person is subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation can report this to the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission. To protect people who want to make a report, this can be done anonymously.

There are many ways the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission responds to reports.

It may provide or assign a report to its Community Support & Investigation Team. Depending on the report, the Commission may share information with the NSW Police, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

In cases where the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission decides to investigate it will first ask the consent of the person at the heart of the report. The intention is always to improve the safety of the adult, and uphold their rights.

The Commission has been operating for almost four years, and demand for its services has increased year on year.

Over the past three years, the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline has received 38,216 calls and has seen a 40 per cent increase in statutory reports about abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older person or adult with disability in their family, home or community.

The Commission says it has had reports come through from a broad range of people, including care workers, community members and neighbours. And it’s seen an increase in reports made by adults with disability themselves.

Identifying and responding to abuse can be hard. Most reports made to the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission involve older people, mainly older women. These reports relate mostly to alleged abuse by a family member.. Reports often relate to alleged financial and emotional abuse.

Anyone can play a significant role in helping an older person get the support they need. It’s not about being an expert in abuse detection; it’s about getting information, getting or giving support and taking action if necessary, on concerns you have about what you have seen or heard.

If you are looking for information or support or you need to make a report, the Commission is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and can be reached on 1800 628 221 or by email:


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