Helping me to respond

Everyone has the right to feel safe and the right to independence and autonomy. Age does not change that.

If you are experiencing abuse, there are people and supports you can turn to, things you can do and resources you can access. Help starts here.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and the right to independence and autonomy. Age does not change that.

If you are experiencing abuse, there are people and supports you can turn to, things you can do and resources you can access. Help starts here.

Last updated: August 2020
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You have the power

You have the right to make it stop

You may feel like you don’t deserve the help.
You may think that you won’t be believed.
You may worry that you don’t have the power to change your situation.

Be reassured that you do.

You have rights

You have the right to live in a safe environment. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. You have the right to make your own decisions and choices. You have the right to access the same types of protections as any other adults.

You are not alone

There are a number of local and national organisations and services created to support you, including community care support providers, financial counselling providers, mental health and sexual assault teams, the police, and domestic violence specialists. Use the ‘Find a service’ links below to contact a service you feel might be best placed to help.

You have the law on your side

The abuse of older people can take many forms. Some abusive acts are classified as crimes. Physical assaults, sexual assaults, fraud and theft can be reported to the police, and the perpetrator can be charged with criminal offences. The law is also there to protect your rights in relation to asset protection, proper care arrangements and enduring documents, e.g. Wills and Powers of Attorney.

You deserve support

The perpetrator may be someone you care about. They may not be aware of the impact of their behaviour. You may be protective of the person mistreating or exploiting you, particularly if they are your child. But it is important to know that adults can get help for their problems.

You have choices

You have the right to take risks, which may include staying in an abusive situation or living where you are when others believe you should go into a nursing home for your own safety. It’s important to remember that these types of decisions can be very challenging, particularly for those supporting older people.

What you can do now

It can be hard to know exactly who to turn to for information, intervention, advice or help.
Even if you’re unsure of who to talk to, the most important thing is to take action.
Help is confidential, easily accessible and may be free.
 

Speak to someone in confidence

Speak with someone you trust, like a friend or neighbour. Or find a Support Service in your area.

Start here if you’re unsure of who to talk to.

Legal or Financial help

Discover the support services you can access for legal and financial advice.

Find support near you

Mediation and Advocacy Services

Services designed to help people resolve disputes through mediation or provide individual Advocacy support.

Find support near you

 

Content acknowledgement

Need information or advice on elder abuse now?

Need information or advice on elder abuse now?
CALL 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)

In an emergency call 000

This free number will redirect you to an existing phone service near you. This is not a 24-hour line. Call operating times will vary. A collaboration between the Australian, state and territory governments.