Today, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day marks the first day in Elder Abuse Awareness Week, 15-22 June. Age Concern New Zealand are working hard to raise public awareness about the issues of financial, psychological and physical abuse that is happening at the hands of our families.
Here is some information about psychological abuse, taken from the below interview with Louise Collins of Age Concern:
Of all psychological abuse cases, 75% of the alleged abusers are family members and are sometimes the only people who the victims have contact with, so they put up with the abuse just to keep relationships going with their family. Things that often trigger psychological abuse of an older person are: lack of respect and ageist attitudes that make a person think that older people don’t matter. That they’re of no value and that they’re a burden.
- Older people have told Age Concern that psychological abuse causes them the most damage, over physical and financial abuse
- Money is often at the route of abuse and is often used as a threat, e.g. “If you don’t give me money to start a business, I won’t bring the grandchildren around to see you.”
- Half of abused older people are over 80 years old
- 50% of alleged abusers are adult children
Thankfully, there are many success stories of older people that have been assisted with the help of The Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services all across New Zealand. To read some of the stories click here.
Age Concern is a charitable organisation dedicated solely to older New Zealanders. Age Concern promotes dignity and respect for all older people as well as providing expert information and support services in response to older people’s needs.
Donate to the cause through Givealittle or by calling 0900 333 01 to make an instant $20 donation.
Help is available contact Age Concern 04 801 9338 for the national office, or here for your local Age Concern. Phone the Carers NZ helpline (0800 777 797), the Family Violence Helpline (0800 456 450).