The chief executive of Australia’s peak aged services body has called upon the community to better understand its role in preventing “physical, psychological or financial” abuse of elders.
In a statement ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) chief executive Sean Rooney said a multi-disciplined approach was needed to raise awareness about and quickly respond to elder abuse.
“Our community must have zero tolerance towards elder abuse,” he said.
“We all have a role to play in identifying, empowering people and ending elder abuse.
“Elder abuse can involve physical, psychological or financial abuse and is a community issue that needs to be spoken about if we are to increase awareness and prevention.”
Mr Rooney also emphasised the importance of protecting against elder abuse in a time where the world’s population was ageing.
“LASA will continue to advocate for improved systems and mechanisms to end elder abuse, and do what we can to support providers and the wider community in identifying and preventing elder abuse,” he said.
Mr Rooney’s comments follow remarks made by advocacy and training group Protecting Seniors Wealth chief executive Anne McGowan, who told delegates at the AIOFP 20th anniversary conference in New York that elder abuse prevention represented an opportunity for advisers as well as being a moral imperative.
“Millions of seniors are affected [by abuse] and they are losing billions per year in Australia,” Ms McGowan said. “Sixty per cent is financial abuse. If we minimise the financial abuse we will minimise the abuse overall considerably.”
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