The findings of the report are alarming, with a 15.6% increase in the number of reported cases of elder abuse in the region over the past year, highlighting the devastating effects of elder abuse, with victims often facing psychological distress, deterioration in their health, and financial consequences.
The EAPU Helpline received 2,338 abuse notification calls in the 2021-2022 financial year and 1,503 enquiry calls with one hundred seventeen notifications (5.0%) involving abuse allegedly perpetrated by aged care services or workers.
The study revealed that financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, followed by psychological (76.6%) and social abuse (27.8%). Most victims experience multiple forms of abuse (68.7%), with the majority (65.5%) living with the perpetrator. Co-habitation cases have risen 74.2% in the past 4 years, due to housing shortages and cost-of-living pressures.
Unfortunately, the report also found that the majority of cases go unreported, with 6 in 10 victims not seeking help or advice, even from family or friends.
EAPU is dedicated to addressing this growing problem and working to create a safer and more supportive environment for older individuals.
The report highlights the need for increased public awareness and improved access to resources for victims of elder abuse. The EAPU is calling on governments, community organisations and individuals to take action to prevent and provide support to victims.
In addition to the overall findings, the report also includes specific data on the incidence of elder abuse in different age groups, geographic areas, and types of abuse. The report found that it is particularly prevalent among older individuals aged 80 and above and that rural areas have a higher incidence compared to urban areas.
This report is a wake-up call for the community to take action to help protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Download the full report on the EAPU website at www.eapu.com.au.