No one is excused from any form of abuse happening in Australia, especially Elder Abuse. It comes from different ages, cultures, life states, etc. Elders in Australia are also one of the many victims of abuse, in fact, one in six Australian seniors are experiencing any form of abuse and most of the perpetrators are their relatives, specifically their children, this is according to a conducted study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Upon reviewing the study, the percentage of elderly who are experiencing elderly abuse in Australia is 14.8%. They suffered from different areas of abuse and those are psychological, sexual, physical, sexual, neglect, and financial abuse. And among the abuses, psychological abuse has the highest percentage with 11.7%.
Psychological abuse wasn’t recognised well by the victims and perpetrators. Sometimes they don’t know that they are experiencing and committing it. Psychological abuse can be determined and measured by whether the person has been belittled, excluded, insulted, repeatedly ignored, undetermined, or threatened such as threats that will harm someone else.
Signs of Elder Abuse
In the AIFS study, perpetrators are mostly the relatives of the elderly victims, and 20% of them are their adult children. Followed by their friends (12%), acquaintances (9%) and neighbours (7%).
Since most of the perpetrators are close to the victim, it is hard for them to avoid so they keep it secret to forget the shame, embarrassment and negative feedback to the perpetrators, especially if they are part of their family.
So to know the sign of Elder Abuse, you have to open your eyes and open them to all possibilities.
Elder Abuse: The financial side
Financial abuse is the third most often type of abuse that is happening in Australian seniors, ages 65 and above. The most common form that is related to finances from seniors’ perspectives was being pressured to withdraw money, apply for loans, and issues regarding properties.
The study cited some financial abuse, including:
- Unauthorised taking of money, property and possession
- Not following the agreement in contributing to home bills or expenses such as rent, food or aged/home care
- Having financial decisions without any consultation
- Forcing to create or adjust a will
- Forging seniors’ signatures to apply for financial matters
- Creating threats that financially harms the elderly.
Joshua is a hard-working son of Ema. His mother is now a widow owning a home in Melbourne that cost $820,000. One day, Joshua the eldest son of Ema lost his job due to the Covid 19 so he decided to go back to his mom in Melbourne because of financial problems. Ema agreed to Joshua’s decision but he needs to help with household chores and find a job after the pandemic. After two years, covid 19’s protocol is not that strict and Joshua started to find a job.
But after 6 months, Joshua is still unemployed but has an option. He has an offer in the US but he doesn’t have enough funds to pursue it. He asked her mom to fund his expenses for the US job through a reverse mortgage but his mother disagreed with it. After a month Joshua’s mom was shocked because Joshua funded all of his expenses for the US job and arrived in the US after a week. But Ema doesn’t know that Joshua forged her signature and her property in Melbourne was put on a reverse mortgage.
Elder Abuse: How to stop it?
Stopping this kind of abuse is not really easy. You have to open your mind and accept the reality that not everyone around you is worthy of your trust. According to the study the most often action done by the victim is to talk with the perpetrator directly, break contact with them and avoid them as much as possible. But these actions will not really help, they will just increase the impact of the abuse which results in seniors’ isolation.
To stop elder abuse the action that a victim must follow is to report it to the proper government authorities.
Help from the right authority is the best solution for any elder abuse whether it is psychological, sexual, physical, sexual, neglect, financial or any kind of abuse. If you have any concerns about elder abuse and want information on how to get through it, contact the elder abuse phone line.
Call 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374), a free call phone number that accepts concerns about elder abuse. It redirects callers who seek information or advice regarding elder abuse to their state phone line service.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
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Our team will not support any financial abuse, especially to our beloved elderly clients. With the ASAG Reverse Mortgage, everything will be processed the right way.
We provide assistance by conducting a one-to-one interview with the owner of the property. We’ll surely keep an eye on the gathered information and will proceed only with the loan if you are suitable for it. If needed, we talk with the family members and ask independently to get legal advice before finally accessing the loan.
We will not make you worry about any regular repayments. Because with our reverse mortgage the loan can be paid off once you moved to residential aged care, downsize, or pass away.
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