Elder abuse is a global issue that affects the health of millions of senior citizens all over the world. We would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness of elder abuse to prevent it from happening. You might think there isn’t much you can do, but there is. It’s important that you are aware of elder abuse so that you can keep an eye out for any red flags. Elder abuse can take shape in many different forms, and doesn’t necessarily mean a stranger taking advantage of an unsuspecting victim. Typically, elder abuse takes place within families or starts in the home.
In terms of financial elder abuse, the New Zealand Government website states that it can include someone who:
• Takes money or possessions from elderly people without their knowledge or approval;
• Fails to repay loans;
• Lives with an elderly person; uses their telephone, electricity and water and eats their food without contributing to costs;
• Forces an elderly person to provide them with money or property;
• Pressures an elderly person to sell their house, then uses that money for themselves, for example, to buy themselves a new house;
• Abuses their Enduring Power of Attorney over property.
Elder abuse is often committed by close friends and family members as opposed to complete strangers. So today, let’s have a think about the elderly people we hold dear to us and make sure we are there to lend a helping hand for support. Just being present is important so they feel comfortable to share with you any concerns they may have.
If you, or someone you know is suffering elder abuse, call the Police. Or, if you think they may have encountered financial elder abuse or have become involved in a scam, call their financial provider immediately.
For further information on the different types of elder abuse, visit these pages: