It’s not OK for older people to be abused or neglected by family members or caregivers.
Elder abuse and neglect occurs within a relationship of trust, usually by members of the older person’s family/whānau or a paid carer.
Elder abuse is a universal problem, and is not limited to any one gender, religion, cultural, ethnic or income group. Elder abuse is not just physical violence or using force like pushing or slapping. It can be:
- using older people’s money without consent
- controlling who they see, who they talk to, where they go
- taking decisions out of their hands
- treating them like children
- name calling and put downs
- keeping them at home, denying them the care they need
- locking them in their room so they don’t wander.
Older people have the right to make their own choices and decisions even if we don’t agree with them. They have the right to spend their money as they choose.
The Elder Abuse helpline will help you work through these issues and put you in touch with support services near where you live. This service is free, staffed by nurses, and completely confidential. It is available all day, every day. Call 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK).
If you are concerned about violence, there people who can help or offer advice:
Recent research about elder abuse in New Zealand can be found here
Statistic Tile for printing: STAT TILE ELDER ABUSE [PDF 117 KB]