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What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust that results in harm to an older person. The most common forms of elder abuse include emotional abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse and neglect. Sexual abuse can also occur.

Elder abuse can affect people of all cultures, education and socioeconomic status. Sadly, the majority of abusers are close family members, specifically, adult sons or daughters, spouses and other close relations.

Because it is usually close family members who are the abusers, elder abuse is hidden away and people are not willing to talk about it. It’s time for that to change and for everyone in Queensland to know there’s no excuse for elder abuse.

We have started a community conversation about what elder abuse is and how people can recognise the signs and seek help for themselves or people they know. Information on the following pages has been written to inform people about what to look out for—what are the signs, the common excuses made to hide abuse and how to recognise elder abuse. Even if you do not know someone experiencing or committing elder abuse, you can still help put an end to it by sharing the information on this website with people you know.

What is elder abuse?




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.