New funding to fight elder abuse

Money confiscated from criminals will be combined with grants from Lotterywest to fund a project aimed at fighting elder abuse.

The money will be spent on rolling out a program that will educate elderly people about how to protect themselves from abuse.

Advocare chief executive Greg Mahney said victims often found it difficult to accept that one of their own children was abusing them.

“The World Health Organisation estimates that elder abuse affects one in 10 older persons, that’s thousands of Australians per year,” Mr Mahney said.

“The most common form of elder abuse is financial, however this abuse can also occur with social, physical, sexual, psychological and neglectful abuse.”

The Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre and the Southern Communities Advocacy Legal Education Service have been awarded $264,500 to help them run the project.

NSC Legal Centre manager Karen Merrin said the centre assisted 155 abused elders in 2016.

“Elder abuse is abuse by family, friend or carer,” Ms Merrin said.

“I call it the third part of domestic violence – there’s child abuse, family violence and elder abuse.”

The project will operate in Joondalup, Stirling, Wanneroo, Kwinana and Rockingham and will see elderly volunteers trained to educate other older Australians.