It’s an unfortunate reality that all too often, older people are victims of abuse by people they know and trust.

15 June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and NSW Minister for Ageing, John Ajaka has called on the community to help end elder abuse.

“The abuse of older people is a serious issue, and it’s everyone’s business to play a part in stopping it,” Mr Ajaka said.

“Elder abuse should not be tolerated and the NSW Government is committed to making sure older people experience the benefits of living longer and are treated with respect.”

Like many forms of violence, perpetrators prey on the vulnerable; those unable to speak out due to fear of the repercussions.

Sadly, the perpetrators of elder abuse are often a close relative or friend. Elder abuse often goes unreported and can take many forms including physical, psychological, sexual, financial and neglect.

Tackling elder abuse is a key element of the NSW Government’s Ageing Strategy, leading to the establishment of the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit in 2013.

The Elder Abuse Helpline is a state-wide, confidential, free-call service that provides information, advice and referrals for people experiencing or concerned about elder abuse. Since it was founded, the Helpline has received more than 4,000 calls at an average of over 120 per month.

The Elder Abuse Helpline is supported by the NSW Government, with more than $2 million invested since it commenced.

“I urge anyone who witnesses, experiences or suspects elder abuse to call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221,” Mr Ajaka said.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a UN sponsored day when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to our older generations. Click here to learn more.