Senior man gardening

Helping me to respond

Everyone has the right to feel safe and the right to independence and autonomy. Age does not change that.

Last updated: 15 February 2024

You have the power

You have the right to make it stop

You may feel like you don’t deserve the help.
You may think that you won’t be believed.
You may worry that you don’t have the power to change your situation.
Be reassured that you do.

You have rights

You have the right to live in a safe environment. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. You have the right to make your own decisions and choices. You have the right to access the same types of protections as any other adults.

You are not alone

There are a number of local and national organisations and services created to support you, including community care support providers, financial counselling providers, mental health and sexual assault teams, the police, and domestic violence specialists. Use the ‘Find a service’ links below to contact a service you feel might be best placed to help.

You have the law on your side

The abuse of older people can take many forms. Some abusive acts are classified as crimes. Physical assaults, sexual assaults, fraud and theft can be reported to the police, and the perpetrator can be charged with criminal offences. The law is also there to protect your rights in relation to asset protection, proper care arrangements and enduring documents, e.g. Wills and Powers of Attorney.

You deserve support

The perpetrator may be someone you care about. They may not be aware of the impact of their behaviour. You may be protective of the person mistreating or exploiting you, particularly if they are your child. But it is important to know that adults can get help for their problems.

You have choices

You have the right to take risks, which may include staying in an abusive situation or living where you are when others believe you should go into a nursing home for your own safety. It’s important to remember that these types of decisions can be very challenging, particularly for those supporting older people.

What you can do now

Speak to someone in confidence

Speak with someone you trust, like a friend or neighbour. Or find a Service Provider in your area.

Start here if you’re unsure of who to talk to.

Legal or Financial help

Discover the support services you can access for legal and financial advice.

Find support near you

Mediation and Advocacy Services

Services designed to help people resolve disputes through mediation or provide individual Advocacy support.

Find support near you

Barriers to seeking help

People have every right to report elder abuse and get help to make it stop, yet they don’t always do so.

Many people who experience elder abuse don’t report it and seek help, according to the final report of the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) in 2021. Learn more

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More information on elder abuse

Need information or advice on elder abuse now?
Need information or advice on elder abuse now?
CALL 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)
In an emergency call 000

This free number will redirect you to an existing phone service near you. This is not a 24-hour line. Call operating times will vary. A collaboration between the Australian, state and territory governments.