Elder abuse helpline

If you think someone you know is being subjected to elder abuse, call the Elder Abuse Helpline 1300 651 192 for free, confidential advice (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

What the elder abuse helpline does and doesn’t do

The helpline operates as a first point of contact for anyone who experiences, witnesses or suspects an older person is being abused by someone they know and trust.

The contexts in which elder abuse occurs are often complex and multilayered. The helpline offers an opportunity for callers to talk through their concerns with a trained operator in a safe, confidential conversation that can help you assess risk, examine relationship dynamics ask questions and find out about support services. The helpline staff can also provide information on safety plans and strategies to address the abuse.

The helpline also handles calls from service providers, GPs, psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers and other allied health teams, police officers and service providers who wish to talk through issues and cases to develop potential solutions. 

The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit has no powers of investigation, is not a reporting agency and does not undertake case-management.

What happens during a call

A trained staff member will discuss the situation you are concerned about with you. They will help you identify the different types of elder abuse that may be happening to the older person and help you develop strategies to help them. They can also refer you to the appropriate support services that can assist the older person.

The Elder Abuse Helpline is committed to providing information that is relevant to the circumstances of each individual case. This includes ensuring advice is culturally appropriate. They can also provide callers with diverse linguistic needs with access to interpreters to improve the quality of their service.

Making an anonymous call

Calls to the helpline are confidential and callers may choose to remain anonymous. This allows anyone who is unsure whether their concerns are warranted, and older people who do not wish to take action, to discuss their concerns and receive information and support without fear of disclosure. If you make an anonymous report, the helpline staff will provide advice about how you can help the older person, as well as referrals to appropriate support services.

No need for proof before calling the helpline

You don’t have to have proof to seek help. The Elder Abuse Helpline will discuss the situation with you to determine whether the behaviour you’ve observed or the signs of abuse you’re concerned about are indicators that elder abuse is occurring. It is better to trust your instincts and make the call than to wait for proof and risk letting the abuse continue. As elder abuse is so often hidden or downplayed because of the stigma attached, that proof may never emerge. 

Find more information about the work of the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit.

If you suspect financial abuse

The elder abuse helpline can help you find assistance for older people experiencing financial abuse. Older people can be at particular risk of financial abuse and it is important to ensure that they have provided appropriate consent for legal or financial decisions that affect them.

Queensland's guardianship system provides protections for people whose decision-making capacity is impaired, by outlining the requirements for appointing a legal authority to make decisions on their behalf. More information about adult guardianship is available on the Office of the Public Guardian website.

Seniors Financial Protection Services provide free, independent financial advice to older people to help protect them from financial abuse. These services also provide advice on other financial issues including aged care contracts and family agreements.

If you suspect physical abuse

If you hear or see anything that makes you think violence is occurring, you should ring Police on triple zero (000). Do not attempt to intervene in a situation where physical violence may be occurring, as this may put you and others at risk.

Elder Abuse Helpline

Free anonymous and confidential assistance between 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday

This helpline is funded by the Queensland Government and operated by UnitingCare Community.

An experienced and trained operator will help you identify the signs of abuse and provide referrals to the relevant support services.

In an emergency, call triple zero (000).

Other support services