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Bringing awareness to elder abuse for the International Day of Older Persons

01 October 2020

In recognition of the International Day of Older Persons, Heartland would like to bring awareness to something that this demographic is especially vulnerable to, elder abuse. The International Day of Older Persons was adapted as a response to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing, to promote the development of a society for all ages. Older people become vulnerable to various forms of abuse when they become more frail. However, with an aging population and people living longer, elder abuse has been on the rise.

Senior’s Rights Victoria have released a report outlining data from the last 7 years of elder abuse in Victoria. The report has revealed some statistics on elder abuse including the following.

  • The most common forms of abuse were psychological abuse (63%) or financial abuse (62%), with many experiencing more than one type of abuse. Other types of abuse included physical abuse (16%), social abuse (11%), neglect (1.2%), and sexual abuse (0.8%).
  • In 91% of cases the abuser was a family member, with a combined total of 67% of abusers being the person’s son or daughter.
  • 72% of those seeking advice from Seniors Rights Victoria are women.
  • Drug, alcohol, or gambling issues afflicted a rising number of perpetrators, averaging 35% over the seven-year period.
  • Mental health issues were experienced by an increasing number of perpetrators, rising to 39% in the most recent period.

You can read the full report here.

These statistics highlight the importance of spreading awareness and acting against elder abuse. At Heartland, we take our duty of care seriously and have extensive processes and procedures in place to detect and prevent elder abuse when someone decides to take out a reverse mortgage with us. For more information, including how to spot red flags and warning signs, read our Elder Abuse Guide. Our Borrower Protections are also in place to support our customers in making an informed decision.

If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, please call the national elder abuse phone line for assistance on 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374).

Alternatively, if you require crisis or emotional support you can also call Lifeline’s 24-hour support line on 13 11 14.

Heartland is always here to help. If you have a loan with us, and suspect you may be victim to elder abuse, or would like to speak to one of our team, please call 1300 889 338 or you can email [email protected].

Information is accurate as of 1 October 2020 and may change from time to time.