- WA-first elder abuse summit brings experts together to confront emerging issue
- McGowan Government has secured a lead role among other States and Territories in developing National Plan on Elder Abuse
Elder abuse will be the focus of a Western Australian-first summit convened today by Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray.
More than 40 stakeholders from the seniors and ageing sector will meet at the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia to discuss elder abuse prevention and help develop the State Government's approach to addressing the emerging issue.
The McGowan Government has secured the co-chair role alongside the Federal Government on the National Plan to Combat Elder Abuse, with today's summit to help inform WA's contribution to the national plan.
Elder abuse refers to any action within a relationship of trust that causes harm or distress to an older person - appearing in the form of financial abuse or fraud, emotional or psychological torment, neglect, social isolation, physical or other exploitation.
More than 75,000 Western Australians are thought to be potential victims of elder abuse - with a high proportion of reported cases involving a perpetrator who is a family member of the victim. Financial and psychological abuse make up the majority of reported cases in WA.
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"Difficult as it is to imagine, a high proportion of reported elder abuse cases in WA involve a perpetrator who is a family relation of the victim.
"Because elder abuse usually involves a relationship of trust between an older person and a younger relative, identifying and reporting abuse can be very difficult - especially if the victim is nervous about reporting a family member.
"It is important for people to realise elder abuse is a complex issue - and in most cases doesn't mean physical violence. In fact, financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse reported in Western Australia.
"The State Government takes its role in elder abuse prevention very seriously, and today's summit is a major step forward in confronting the issue.
"Ultimately, the summit will help to inform the development of the National Plan on Elder Abuse, while identifying what priority actions can be implemented now in WA.
"We need to close the gap between understanding the problem, recognising when abuse is occurring and taking action to stop it.
"While elder abuse has been a significant problem in the community for some time, there is still a lack of awareness and understanding about the issue, and it is my hope that the summit elevates the issue in the minds of the community."
Minister's office - 6552 6400