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There's no excuse for elder abuse

A son skims his elderly mother’s savings by using her keycard to buy things for himself. A daughter moves in with her dad to provide care, and ends up using intimidation and threats to force him to change his will for her benefit. Sadly, these are real examples of elder abuse that are happening every day in Queensland.

This year’s elder abuse prevention campaign, There’s no excuse for elder abuse, highlights some of the most common forms of abuse and directs people to support for themselves or someone they know.

As a lot of the most common forms of elder abuse are quite subtle and hard to detect, we may think the abuse is not that bad. That’s why we’re making it clear that there is no excuse for any type of elder abuse in this year’s campaign.

People might think using their mum or dad’s key card to treat themselves isn’t a big deal but it is elder abuse. Some may think they’re entitled to their mum or dad’s assets because they provide them care but forcing them to sign legal documents against their wishes is elder abuse. We all disagree sometimes but threats and intimidation are elder abuse – and there is no excuse for elder abuse.

You’ll see the campaign on buses, in shopping centres and medical centres, on news websites and newspapers. You may hear campaign ads on radio or see them on social media.

We must recognise the signs of all types of elder abuse, including those not as visible as physical abuse, and call out the abusive behaviours because everyone in Queensland has a right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Take action

We want to start a community conversation about elder abuse so as many people as possible know there’s no excuse for elder abuse. We can’t do it alone so we’re hoping you can help spread the word.

  • Organise an event in your local area to support World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June.
  • Display There’s no excuse for elder abuse posters and helpcards at your workplace to help raise awareness of elder abuse. Free posters and helpcards will be available to order soon.
  • Encourage your work colleagues to wear purple around 15 June. Purple is the official colour of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and denotes wisdom, dignity, independence and creativity.
  • Employers can increase awareness of elder abuse by providing their staff with information on how to support those affected and where to access help.
  • If you work in the media you can play an important role in raising awareness of elder abuse and reinforcing the message that there’s no excuse for elder abuse.
  • Encourage your local newspaper or radio station to write stories about elder abuse.

Councils can lead the way in their community by running local projects focusing on elder abuse prevention or establishing a taskforce bringing together community leaders to start the conversation and promote anti-elder abuse messages.

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The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors would like to acknowledge the contribution made to the development of this campaign by the UnitingCare Queensland’s Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, legal and social support services, Queensland Police Service and the Public Trustee.

The UnitingCare Queensland Elder Abuse Prevention Unit has also provided expert advice during the development of this website including providing personal stories.

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Elder Abuse Helpline

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

1300 651 192 (Queensland only)

(07) 3867 2525 (rest of Australia)

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