What is Elder Abuse?

'Elder abuse can be defined as a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.'

World Health Organisation (WHO – 2002)

Psychological abuse

  • Someone threatening to hurt you or damage your belongings
  • Being intimidated, humiliated or harassed
  • Being threatened with eviction or moving to a nursing home
  • Being stopped from seeing your family or friends or attending regular activities
  • Being denied the right to make your own decisions
  • Being treated like a child

Financial abuse

  • Your pension skimmed or money taken from your bank account
  • Your belongings sold without permission
  • Your money or property taken improperly through the misuse of an Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Being forced to change your Will
  • Being denied access to, or control of your own funds


  • Not allowed to access the services you need
  • Not having your physical, medical or emotional needs met

Physical abuse

  • Slapping, hitting, pushing, shaking, shoving or restraining
  • Inappropriate physical or chemical restraints
  • Harm created by over- or under-medicating

Sexual abuse

  • Someone making unwanted sexual approaches or behaving indecently towards you
  • No consent, or consent given by using force or threats

If this is happening to you or someone you know, we can help. Call us on 1800 628 221.