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Media Release: Financial Elder Abuse an Increasing Problem in Australia

June 28, 2021

 Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. To mark the day, the Peninsula Community Legal Centre and the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Respecting Seniors Network are launching an elder abuse awareness campaign to highlight the issue of financial elder abuse, which is an increasing problem in Australia.

Close to two thirds (62%) of all elder abuse cases involve financial abuse. The need for public awareness of this issue is more urgent than ever.

Dr Kay Patterson, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Age Discrimination Commissioner, launched the campaign and said:

“Elder abuse and ageism are linked.   Ageist attitudes are often used to justify elder abuse, for example, adult daughters and sons who feel they have a right to their parents’ money or assets. Elder abuse can happen to anyone, and it often happens in secret, but there is help available” said Dr Patterson. “The lack of public awareness about the problem leads to elder abuse becoming an invisible social issue”.

The “Inheritance Not an Entitlement campaign” is produced by the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Respecting Seniors Network, which is one of ten elder abuse prevention networks supported by the Victorian Government, and the Peninsula Community Legal Centre, in collaboration with Better Place Australia. It comprises seven short film clips, each exploring the issue of inheritance impatience or entitlement which can lead to financial elder abuse.

In the clips, seven myths about elder abuse are “busted” by a community lawyer from the Peninsula Community Legal Centre and provide advice about where to get help to those who may know someone who is facing elder abuse themselves or who may be experiencing abuse themselves.

Common myths “busted” by the films include the myth that most elder abuse occurs in nursing homes when in fact elder abuse happens most frequently at home by trusted family members; or that elder abuse is usually physical when in fact the most common forms of elder abuse are financial exploitation and emotional abuse.

END.

DATE: 15 June 2021

CONTACT: Kirsten Young, Community Engagement Officer –  t: 9783 3600 e: kyoung@pclc.org.au

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