Elder Abuse Inquiry Welcomed
3 September 2015 at 11:11 am
The New South Wales Parliament has launched an inquiry into the abuse of elderly people, a move that has been welcomed by Not for Profit advocates.
The Upper House inquiry will be chaired by Labor politician, Greg Donnelly, who said it would focus “on the prevalence of abuse experienced by older persons, including financial, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, as well as neglect”.
“The committee is interested in hearing about the current support services available to victims of elder abuse and whether the NSW Police have adequate powers to respond to allegations. In addition, the committee will consider the effectiveness of laws, policies and strategies to safeguard older persons,” Donnelly said.
“The committee is also considering the development of long-term measures to prevent or safeguard against abuse and to develop ways of empowering older persons to better protect themselves.”
Senior advisor with the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA), Charmaine Crowe, said she welcomed the inquiry, which was set up after 1000s of calls were made to an abuse hotline.
“The NSW Elder Abuse helpline has received about 1,000 calls each year since it was launched in 2013. However, NSW appears to be poorly equipped to respond to cases of abuse, especially where the older person has dementia or is worried about speaking out,” Crowe said.
“The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that up to 50,000 people aged 65 or over in NSW had experienced some form of abuse or neglect, including financial, physical and psychological abuse.
“Older people have a right to feel safe in their community and be free from abuse. CPSA hopes that this inquiry will put forward some practical options to prevent and respond to elder abuse.”
The closing date for written submissions is Sunday 15 November 2015. More information on the inquiry can be found here.