Worried about your own behaviour? - Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Queensland Government)

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Worried about your own behaviour?

‘It’s going to be my money anyway.’

‘The house is my payment for looking after mum.’

‘Dad should know I’ve always had a temper.’

‘It doesn’t matter what mum thinks—I know best.’

Have you used some of these excuses to justify your own behaviour? Have you said them to someone you know? Are you wondering if you’re doing the right thing by your parents or loved one?

It is great that you are reflecting on your behaviour and are wondering how you can change. It can be tough to face but there is help available.

The Elder Abuse Helpline can provide advice and referral to counselling and support services for people who identify their own behaviour as abusive and want to change it. You can call the helpline on 1300 651 192, 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday.

The following story is drawn from the experiences of callers to the Elder Abuse Helpline. All names have been changed.

Andrea’s story

Before moving into an aged care home, Andrea’s mother, Carol, made her Enduring Power of Attorney. Since moving into the home, Andrea visited her mother regularly and she often asked Andrea why her brother, Alan, never visited as she wanted to see him. Andrea would make up excuses to tell her mother why he hadn’t visited but she had actually made the decision to keep him away as she thought it was the best thing for her mum.

Andrea’s older brother had often been violent towards their mum when he was younger and Andrea did not want him to go near their mother now. She was frail and deserved to be well cared for and Andrea did not want to put that at risk. As her Enduring Power of Attorney, she had advised the home that they were not to allow Alan to visit Carol. Seeing how upset her mum was that he still hadn’t visited after a few months, Andrea began to question whether or not she was doing the right thing for her mum and called the Elder Abuse Helpline.

The helpline operator advised Andrea that while she may have initially acted to keep her mum safe, deliberately isolating her from family members she wished to see could be viewed as elder abuse. The operator provided some advice about how to approach her brother and ensure that Carol was supported when Alan visited her. They also provided about how to maintain Carol’s, and her own, safety when Alan visited.

Contacts

Elder Abuse Helpline

9am–5pm, Monday to Friday

1300 651 192 (Queensland only)

(07) 3867 2525 (rest of Australia)

This Queensland Government funded helpline is run by UnitingCare Community.

Free anonymous and confidential advice for anyone experiencing elder abuse or who suspects someone they know may be experiencing elder abuse.

In an emergency call the police on triple zero (000).

Other support services

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.