It is estimated that one in ten older Australians experience some form of elder abuse. Emotional and financial abuse are overwhelmingly the most prevalent forms of abuse, and leave elderly victims devastated.
Beginning in 2017, Alison deputy-chaired a year-long Parliamentary Select Committee into Elder Abuse, which looked in depth at this very important issue, in all its forms. Inheritance impatience; abuse of power of attorney; carer stress, and the so-called sandwich generation were just some of the many concerns the committee explored. The inquiry also looked at the experiences of, and impact on First Nations elders, and seniors from within the LGBTIQ and CALD communities.
It became very clear during the inquiry that seniors often have little avenue for legal recourse. Community Legal Centres have been invaluable to assisting the brave seniors who contact them, often via Advocare, for advice. Funding must be adequate to ensure people can seek legal advice readily and easily. Debate has been ongoing in the Parliament since the inquiry concluded in November 2018.
Alison will continue to speak on this very important issue to ensure it remains at the forefront of discussion, until a solid framework for tackling elder abuse is implemented.
Action is needed to protect some of the most vulnerable members of the community.