Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline
Older people are a wonderful resource for their families, communities and in the formal or informal workforce (World Health Organisation). Older Tasmanians continue to make valuable contributions to their families and local communities throughout Tasmania.
Older Tasmanians deserve dignity and to be able to feel healthy, secure and safe in their homes and communities. Unfortunately as some people grow older they become increasingly vulnerable to abuse. When elder abuse occurs, it can be challenging to identify, and there is no single type of older person who is at risk of experiencing abuse, and no single type of person who may perpetrate abuse.
Australian and international research reports that up to five per cent of older people may experience some form of elder abuse. However, it is likely to be higher than this, with many people reluctant to report it. Elder abuse can affect anyone, regardless of sex, nationality, financial status or where you live.
In response to elder abuse, the Tasmanian Government through the Department of Health and Human Services, implemented the Protecting Older Tasmanians from Abuse: Tasmania’s Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy. The primary goal of the Strategy is to prevent elder abuse. It is based on a set of core principles, strategic themes and associated activities. The key strategic themes are Awareness, Empowerment, Action and Support.
Preventing elder abuse is a community responsibility that demands all areas of society actively address its causes and reduce its harmful effects. A number of initiatives have been implemented under the Strategy in partnership with our community partners including the establishment of the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline, education and training for people who work with older Tasmanians and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities. These initiatives continue to raise awareness of elder abuse and assist and support older Tasmanians, their families and friends and people who work with older Tasmanians to identify and respond to elder abuse.
The next phase of the Strategy is the Protecting Older Tasmanians from Abuse: Elder Abuse Prevention Action Plan 2015-18. This Action Plan continues with current initiatives such as the Helpline and staff training, as these have been shown to help in raising awareness and preventing Elder Abuse.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing elder abuse, contact the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline for advice and information.