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Help someone committing elder abuse

Sadly, elder abuse is not uncommon within our society, which means there’s a chance somebody you know is abusing their older parents, spouse or other family member. You may have heard them make excuses for their behaviour but there’s no excuse for elder abuse. If they have said things that have you concerned about their behaviour towards an older person, or you suspect the way they treat an older person close to them may be elder abuse you can help.

UnitingCare Community’s Elder Abuse Helpline 1300 651 192 can help you talk through your concerns and develop an appropriate response to help the person you know perpetrating elder abuse or the older person themselves (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). The helpline is a confidential service and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

If you hear or see anything that makes you think violence is occurring, you should ring the police on triple zero (000). Do not attempt to intervene in a situation of physical violence, to avoid putting you and the person experiencing violence at risk.

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

Gary’s story

Gary was concerned about his mother, Fran, who lived on a rural property on her own. Gary explained that his brother Sam was continuously harassing Fran to transfer a large part of Fran’s property into his name. Sam kept telling Fran that she was ‘too old’ to own that much land and that she did not need it now that her late husband had passed away. Both sons asked Fran to make them her Enduring Power of Attorney. Finally, Fran created an Enduring Power of Attorney that gave both Sam and Gary (the two sons) the ability to manage her finances. Against his mother’s wishes, Gary immediately transferred much of Fran’s money into his own account, explaining to the helpline operator that he was trying to protect the money from his brother Sam.

The helpline operator explained that despite his good intentions, this was clearly an abuse of his mother’s finances. The operator explained that his mum could make the Public Trustee her financial Enduring Power of Attorney and encouraged Gary to get his mum to call them to talk about her options. After talking it through, Fran decided to make the Public Trustee her financial Enduring Power of Attorney and Gary quickly returned her finances after realising that his actions were an act of abuse.

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

Theres no excuse for elder abuse video

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