Elder abuse can take many different forms, and someone the older person trusts or depends on such as a family member, a friend or a carer is often responsible. The abuse of older people is not always physical; it can also be financial, psychological or sexual, and can include mistreatment or neglect. No cultural group or socio-economic group is immune to this abuse.
In a critical situation (e.g. where there is a serious risk to an older person’s life), it is vital to seek help from the appropriate emergency service (e.g. Police or Ambulance) by phoning 000.
Elder Abuse Information Line – 1800 037 072
Darwin Community Legal Service operates the Elder Abuse Information Line, which assists seniors and their families with information and referrals to a range of support services.
COTA NT provides information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and will refer any enquiries received by Territory seniors or their families concerned about their well-being to the best possible support services in the NT.
Contact us online or phone during office hours, (08) 8941 1004 – Mondays to Friday, 9am to 3pm excluding public holidays.
Darwin Community Legal Service
Darwin Community Legal Service (DCLS)’s Elder Abuse Information Line has been running since April 2015 – it is a free, confidential and independent service for all Territorians.
The Elder Abuse Information Line is operated by the Seniors and Disability Rights Service (SDRS) at DCLS. It is the first step towards talking about and gathering data around Elder Abuse (financial, medical, physical, emotional, psychological or neglect). The information line can provide information, education and referrals about Elder Abuse to family, friends and community members worried that someone they know is experiencing or at risk of Elder Abuse.
Please note that although calls made to this number from some mobile calls will be charged to the caller, DCLS will call people back. It is a free call from Telstra mobiles and public phones but every provider has a different system so may not be free from other providers. Callers would have to check their plan to ascertain whether calls to 1800 numbers are free.
Contact: Darwin Community Legal Service – 8982 1111 or 1800 812 953 (free call) – www.dcls.org.au (Elder Abuse Information Line – 1800 037 072)
Aged Care Advocate (Alice Springs)
Catholic Care NT in Alice Springs is an Aged Care Advocate that support older people through information about aged care services, rights and responsibilities.
Contact: Catholic Care – 8958 2400 – www.catholiccarent.org.au
Support and Counselling
Relationships Australia’s Senior Relationship Services supports older people to feel respected and safe. It offers early intervention support and counselling and facilitates family meetings for seniors and their families.
Contact: Relationships Australia NT – 8923 4999 – www.nt.relationships.org.au
Elder Abuse Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It is the main day in the year when the world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on older people.
An increasing number of activities and events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse, and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.