Elder abuse

Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust.

The abuser may be a:

  • son or daughter
  • grandchild
  • partner
  • other family members
  • friend
  • neighbour

Abuse is usually intentional. The harm caused to an older person may range from the effects of verbal harassment through to serious physical injury inflicted deliberately. Harm can also include emotional harm and financial loss including the loss of a home and belongings.

The older person may be dependent on the abuser, for example if they rely on the abuser for care. It is also common for the abuser to depend on the support of the older person, for example for accommodation. Sometimes, there may be a co-dependent relationship where both the older person and the abuser depend on each other.

More info: Seniors Rights Victoria website 

These may include:

  • an older person seeming fearful, anxious or isolated
  • injuries, or an absence of personal care
  • disappearance of possessions
  • unexplained financial transactions
  • sudden changes to a will, property title or other documents.
Those with cultural and linguistic backgrounds may experience isolation due to barriers around older people’s need to follow their traditional and religious values. Generational influences may cause tension within families as younger people are more willing to embrace the Australian culture.
The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) coordinates a state-wide project delivering community education to raise awareness of elder abuse, its prevention and support culturally and linguistically diverse seniors in Victoria.
In partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria, ECCV has produced the film Within My Walls.

If you or someone you know needs support call Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 (this is a free confidential helpline) or call 000 in an emergency.

Cardinia Shire is experiencing rapid growth of its ageing population.  The Cardinia Age Friendly Alliance Elder Abuse Project is funded by Together We Can’s grant from the Victorian Government's Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention Grant. 

Fridge magnets designed by the Cardinia Age Friendly Alliance group are available by calling us on 1300 787 624.


Seniors Rights Victoria