OPAN received almost 1400 calls about abuse in the six months to March 2023. We know that’s just the tip of the iceberg because, of the almost one in six (14.8 per cent) older people who reported experiencing abuse in the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, only one-third had sought help.
Abuse can be psychological, emotional, physical, sexual, financial or due to neglect. Older people keep it secret because they feel ashamed – in nearly one in five cases, the abuse is committed by adult children – or because they fear negative repercussions. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Elder Abuse helpline on 1800 353 374.