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Elder abuse concerns

No older person should be subjected to any form of abuse, often referred to as 'elder abuse'. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological or emotional, sexual or financial. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person".

National Helpline

Call the national 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) line (freecall) to talk to someone about potential or actual elder abuse. This service provides information on how you can get help, support and referrals.

More information

Each state and territory provides information about abuse and abuse prevention, and useful contacts and options for getting help.

State/territory Organisation or resource Contact
Australian Capital Territory Older Persons Abuse Prevention Referral and Information Line (APRIL) 02 6205 3535
New South Wales NSW Elder Abuse Helpline 1800 628 221
Northern Territory Elder Abuse Information Line 1800 037 072
Queensland Elder Abuse Prevention Unit 1300 651 192
South Australia Aged Rights Advocacy Service
Elder Abuse Phoneline
08 8232 5377
1800 372 310
Tasmania Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline 1800 441 169
Victoria Seniors Rights Victoria 1300 368 821
Western Australia Elder Abuse Helpline 1300 724 679

You may also like to get help from an advocate. Advocacy services can give you information about your rights and responsibilities and let you know if you should raise your concerns to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Advocacy services are free, confidential and independent. Call the National Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600 (freecall) or visit the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) website to find out more about advocacy services.

Read more about how to make a complaint about your care and services, either with your service provider or through the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Last reviewed: 6 May, 2019.