Elder abuse is a serious problem in Australia. It is an issue that needs policy attention, especially because of our ageing population. The Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections indicate that over the next 25 years the number of older people (aged over 65 years) will double to around 9 million Australians.
As part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (National Plan, Council of Attorneys General, 2019), the Attorney-General’s Department commissioned the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study (NEAPS) to investigate elder abuse. This is the first national survey and the most extensive study into elder abuse in Australia.
- One in six older Australians (15%) reported experiencing abuse in the 12 months prior to
being surveyed between February and May 2020.
- Elder abuse can take the form of psychological abuse (12%), neglect (3%), financial abuse
(2%), physical abuse (2%) and sexual abuse (1%).
- Perpetrators of elder abuse are often family members, mostly adult children, but they can
also be friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
- People with poor physical or psychological health and higher levels of social isolation are
more likely to experience elder abuse.
- Almost two thirds of older people don’t seek help when they are abused (61%).
- Elder abuse often remains hidden, with the most frequent action taken to stop the abuse
involving the victim speaking directly to the perpetrator.
- Family and friends are the most common source of support for older people who
Click below to access the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study ‘Summary Report’
Summary Report: National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study Summary Report.pdf
Click below to access the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study ‘Full Report’