Elder abuse

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Elder abuse in the AIFS library catalogue

Powers of attorney and financial abuse of older people in Australia.

Roopani D
CFCA short article 21 Apr 2020
This short article describes powers of attorney and discusses the potential for such arrangements to contribute to the financial abuse of older people in Australia. Financial abuse is recognised as a form of elder abuse. Professionals working in the community welfare or aged care sectors may be required to help older Australians with a power of attorney arrangement. This article aims to increase sector professionals' awareness of the existence of power of attorney arrangements and how these arrangements may protect older people from abuse; while also acknowledging the risks of abuse in this context.

Elder abuse in Aotearoa: the role and current state of MSD's Elder Abuse Response Services

New Zealand. Ministry of Social Development
Wellington, N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2019.
"The purpose of this report is to provide insight into elder abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand, in particular the current state of the Ministry of Social Development's (MSD's) Elder Abuse Response Services (EARS). Earlier this year, the Family Violence Team (the Team) visited 15 EARS providers across Aotearoa. The aim of this engagement was to gain an understanding from providers about what is affecting elder abuse in their communities, the strengths and weaknesses of EARS, and potential opportunities to improve future services. This report focuses on the current state of elder abuse and EARS, with a future state report to follow, identifying next steps in strengthening services. This report provides a blended analysis of the themes from our discussions with providers alongside literature on older people and elder mistreatment, neglect and abuse."

Elder abuse surveillance: uniform definitions and recommended core data elements

Hall J, Karch D and Crosby A
Atlanta, GA : National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016.
This document presents a set of core data elements to help improve surveillance and monitoring of elder abuse in the United States. It is currently difficult to measure and compare elder abuse nationally and across states, counties and cities, due to longstanding divergences in the definitions and data elements used to collect information on this type of abuse. This set of uniform definitions and recommended core data elements has been prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a diverse group of elder abuse experts. The elements look at elder abuse, the involved parties, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, neglect, financial abuse and exploitation, other types of abuse such as abandonment, self-neglect, and resident-to-resident abuse, and terms associated with the circumstances and consequences of elder abuse.

Reviewing the extent of rural and remote considerations in elder abuse policy : a scoping review.

Blundell B and Warren A
Australian Journal of Rural Health v. 27 no. 4 Aug 2019: 351-357
Elder abuse is a growing issue and jurisdictions here and overseas have developed policy documents to help intervene. This article reviews whether and how issues for rural and remote communities are being addressed in these policies. It finds that rural and remote issues are largely neglected in current policies and greater recognition is needed of the distinct features of elder abuse in these communities, whichs may impact upon prevention and intervention responses.

Providing aged-care through a TV screen

Shelter S.A.
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2019.
Following concerns about resident abuse, a trial of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance monitoring in residential aged care facilities has been announced for South Australia. However, debate has been raised about various concerns including privacy and the fact it captures rather than prevents abuse. This paper looks into the evidence on the use of CCTV surveillance in various settings and its associated risks and benefits. It concludes that this initiative is not evidence-based and features significant potential risks, including negatively affecting the relationships between carers and residents, undermining the culture of care, and using up much needed resources and funding.

Elder abuse protocol: guidelines for action - assisting staff and professionals working with older people to identify and respond to elder abuse

Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Western Australia, Advocare Incorporated, Curtin University of Technology
Victoria Park, WA : Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Western Australia, 2018
This resource aims to assist staff and professionals working with older people in Western Australia to identify and respond to elder abuse. It provides general information about elder abuse, including definitions, types of abuse, examples, signs, and risk factors for abuse, together with information about appropriate responses to elder abuse, including a referral flowchart and a list of referral agencies and contacts in Western Australia. The protocol was funded by the Western Australian Government and developed by Advocare Inc and Dr Barbara Blundell of Curtin University.

Respect and protect older Tasmanians: Tasmania's elder abuse prevention strategy 2019-2022

Tasmania. Dept. of Communities
Hobart, Tas. : Department of Communities Tasmania, 2019.
This paper sets out the Tasmanian state government's 3-year plan to prevent elder abuse. It sets out the broad aims of the strategy, its guiding principles, and the key actions over the next 3 years. It also provides background information on older people in Tasmania, the nature and types of elder abuse, and legislative frameworks in Australia.

Elder abuse responses - safeguarding the rights of older South Australians: consultation outcomes report 2018

South Australia. Office for the Ageing, South Australia. Office for Ageing Well
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Office for Ageing Well, 2019
The South Australian Government is currently reviewing the implementation of its Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians 2014-2021. As part of this work, submissions were invited from the public on what is required next to further safeguard these rights and to better respond to elder abuse. This paper summarises the feedback received, grouped into the key issues of strengthening community awareness, using mediation services as a pathway for referral, and strengthening existing legislation. Fifty-seven submissions were received, including 12 from older people and 15 from organisations. The paper concludes with the government's response and intended actions.

Differences in risks and experiences of familial elder abuse for victims with cognitive impairments.

Gillbard A
Peer-reviewed papers from the FRSA 2019 National Conference : new horizons - building the future, paving the way. Fyshwick, ACT : Family & Relationship Services Australia, 2019: 16-24
This paper looks into the risk factor of cognitive impairment in cases of elder abuse. It analyses data from an elder abuse helpline to examine whether individual risk factors, relational risk factors, abuse types and behaviours, barriers to addressing abuse and the impact of abuse on victims differed in cases where the victim was reported to have a cognitive impairment. Data is taken from 1,727 cases of elder abuse received by the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit in Queensland in 2018/19. The findings highlight into the nature of elder abuse experienced by people with a cognitive impairment. These people were more likely to be dependent on perpetrators due to their complex support needs and were more likely to experience neglect and social abuse. The impacts and barriers to seeking support also differed, as did the profiles and types of abuse behaviours used by perpetrators. The findings also highlight the need to ensure that people with cognitive impairment are included in studies of elder abuse.

Community co-design of digital interventions for primary prevention of ageism and elder abuse: the OPERA project : Older People - Equity Respect and Ageing

Bossio D, Exon J, Schleser M, McCosker A and Davis H
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2019.
The OPERA project is a primary prevention initiative for elder abuse in the eastern metropolitan region of Victoria. The underlying assumption of the project is that ageism is a driver of elder abuse and that disrupting these ageist assumptions and behaviours is a key part of primary prevention. Phase I of the project involved a community consultation about how ageism is perceived and experienced by older people in the region, and these findings were used to inform Phase II, which involved a series of co-design workshops and the development of digital storytelling videos. This report discusses the findings of Phase 1 and the co-design processes of Phase 2, and makes recommendations for similar primary prevention strategies and campaigns. The community consultations identified the pervasive and socially accepted nature of ageism, the social and cultural change in the perceived role and purpose of older people, and the gendered nature of ageing.

WA strategy to respond to the abuse of older people (elder abuse) 2019-2029

Western Australia. Dept. of Communities
East Perth, WA : Western Australia Dept. of Communities, 2019
This strategy sets out the state government's 10-year plan to prevent and respond to elder abuse in Western Australia. It sets out priority areas to guide collective government and community action, and outlines how the proposed actions can be achieved. The strategy focuses on four priority areas: Raising awareness and early identification; Prevention and early intervention; Integrated and co-ordinated responses; and Improving availability of data and evidence. Background information on the nature and characteristics of elder abuse is also included.

Addressing elder abuse in rural and remote communities : social policy, prevention and responses.

Warren A and Blundell B
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect v. 31 no. 4/5 2019: 424-436
This article presents findings from a recent literature review on addressing elder abuse in rural and remote locations. The review examined the Australian and international research on policy, prevention, and service responses to elder abuse in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities. The review highlights several challenges, including geographic isolation, high service demand, poor resourcing, lack of transportation, and issues with confidentiality and privacy. Though a range of policy, prevention, and service responses have been developed, there is only limited evidence on their effectiveness.

Elder abuse in rural and remote communities.

Blundell B and Warren A
CFCA short article 30 Jul 2019
This article highlights findings from a recent literature review on how elder abuse can be addressed in rural and remote locations. It outlines implications for health and community services, state and territory policy, and best practice for support services. Though there is no indication that elder abuse is any less prevalent in rural and remote areas than in urban areas, older people may be more vulnerable due to geographic isolation and local services don't always have the resources or capacity to respond appropriately. Service providers and policy makers are encouraged to consider how gaps might be creatively and collaboratively addressed.

Designing Australian responses to elder abuse : issues and challenges.

Blundell B and Clare M
Shankardass, Mala Kapur, ed. International handbook of elder abuse and mistreatment. Singapore : Springer, 2019: 539-557
This chapter highlights current issues and debates in Australia on how best to respond to elder abuse. Issues include how elder abuse should be defined and responding to the needs of Indigenous Australians, culturally and ethnically diverse people, and people from remote regional areas. The issue of elder abuse has gained in prominence in Australia in recent years and has received much attention through enquiries, research studies and policy responses.

Elder abuse in Australia.

Dow B, Vrantsidis F, O'Brien M, Joosten M and Gahan L
Shankardass, Mala Kapur, ed. International handbook of elder abuse and mistreatment. Singapore : Springer, 2019: 559-574
This chapter provides an overview of elder abuse in Australia, including what is known about prevalence, what policies and practices are available to prevent and intervene, and current issues and debates. The chapter highlights the fragmented nature of supports and policies across the states and territories and calls for a national approach.

Interim report: neglect

Australia. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2019.
A Royal Commission has been called into quality and safety of the aged care system in Australia. This report presents the interim findings, setting out what the Royal Commission has learned to date and the extent of the failure of Australia's aged care services. In short, it has found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them. A fundamental overhaul of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia is required. The findings are presented across three volumes. Volume 1 sets out the information gathered and makes some conclusions, volume 2 details learnings from the public hearings held to date, and volume 3 presents additional information from public forums. Recommendations for reform will be presented in the Royal Commission's final report, expected in November 2020.

Restrictive practices in residential aged care in Australia: nature, prevalence and care

Australia. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2019.
This paper presents an overview of the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care in Australia. This paper has been prepared to help inform the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Restrictive practices refer to activities or interventions, either physical or pharmacological, that have the effect of restricting a person's free movement or ability to make decisions. The use of such practices in residential aged care in Australia is contentious, with concerns about misuse and overuse, significant adverse effects on the care recipient, and the impact on liberty and dignity. This paper describes variations in defining physical and chemical restraint, the effects of restrictive practices, reducing or avoiding restrictive practices, the regulatory framework and guidance, legal frameworks relating to consent to care and treatment, human rights obligations, and the recommendations of previous enquiries and recommendations.

Violence and abuse policy brief

Loxton D and Townsend N
Newcastle, N.S.W. : Women's Health Australia, 2019.
This briefing paper presents recommendations for policy on assisting the victims of violence and abuse, based on evidence from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. It highlights learnings about disclosure, childhood adversity, bullying, forced sex and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse that provide sufficient evidence to warrant policy recommendations. The findings highlight the prevalence and ongoing impacts of violence and abuse. This is one of ten briefing papers that have been produced for the Australian Government Department of Health and the papers have also been published together in one volume. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health is a collaborative project conducted by the University of Newcastle and the University of Queensland.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety: a quick guide

Haupt R
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library, 2019.
A Royal Commission has been established to investigate the quality and delivery of aged care services in Australia. This paper provides an explanation of the development, scope, and funding of this Royal Commission. There have been a number of inquiries into aged care in recent years but significant public attention was raised over abuse at an abuse aged care facility at Oakden in South Australia.

Elder abuse national research - strengthening the evidence base: research definition background paper

Kaspiew R, Carson R, Dow B, Qu L, Hand K, Roopani D, Gahan L and O'Keeffe D
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This paper presents a definition of elder abuse to support research in Australia, and sets out how it was developed. Each of the five elements that provide the structure of the working definition are also explained. The working definition was commissioned for the Elder Abuse National Research Program to inform the development of data collection instruments for an Australian Prevalence Study. The process involved three strategies: a literature review; a series of workshops, focus groups and consultations with professionals and community members; and an assessment of the approaches taken in international prevalence studies.

Elder abuse : context, concepts and challenges.

Dow B and Brijnath B
Australia's welfare 2019 : data insights. Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019. Australia's welfare 1321-1455: 143-159
This chapter provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about elder abuse in Australia. It discusses definitional issues, prevalence, common scenarios, cultural considerations, risk factors, policy and legal context, support services, and the effectiveness of current intervention and prevention approaches. It concludes by considering the gaps in the evidence base. Elder abuse is a serious and potentially growing problem, but unfortunately research in this area is in its infancy and data are scarce.

Australia's welfare 2019: data insights

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This biennial welfare series presents statistics and analysis on social welfare services and needs in Australia. The 2019 report is presented in a new format, with a brief report, a data insights report, and a data snapshots website. The data insights report features an overview of the welfare data landscape and articles on selected welfare topics; these include: Intergenerational transmission of disadvantage in Australia; Income support over the past 20 years; Income support among working-age Indigenous Australians; The future of work: using skills data for better job outcomes; Disability services and statistics: past, present and future; Elder abuse: context, concepts and challenges; and An innovative linked data platform to improve the wellbeing of children - the South Australian Early Childhood Data Project.

Responding to elder abuse : rights, safety and participation.

Dean A and Frost M
28 August 2019.
This webinar will outline emerging evidence on the prevalence and risks associated with elder abuse, and discuss implications for policy and practice. Elder abuse has gained increasing attention in Australia over recent years, with several public inquiries highlighting the need to develop comprehensive and coordinated responses to address it. The abuse of older adults is often hidden, can take many forms and can occur in a range of contexts. In light of these complexities, it can be challenging for policy makers and practitioners to effectively respond to address elder abuse. This webinar will present an overview of elder abuse in Australia, with a focus on what it is, emerging evidence on its prevalence, its effects and risk factors, and the implications for policy and practice. The presenters will discuss some of the main challenges involved in responding to the complexities of elder abuse, including the need to work in coordinated and flexible ways to address the particular circumstances of older people and their families. This approach will be illustrated with a case example of an elder mediation and support service piloted by Relationships Australia NSW that aims to balance the rights, safety and participation of older adults in response to elder abuse.

Protecting older persons from lifethreatening and fatal abuse : should Western Australian criminal law do more?

Blake M
University of Western Australia Law Review v. 45 no. 2 Jul 2019: 195-215
This article considers how criminal law addresses life-threatening or fatal elder abuse in Western Australia, drawing on recent inquiries by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Western Australian Parliament. Sections include: current protections offered by the WA criminal law, prosecutions for life-threatening or fatal forms of elder abuse, what do the case studies show?, and a proportionate response to a particular social harm.

Adult safeguarding laws: reviewing the proposal for a NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

Roth L
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2019.
In December 2018, the New South Wales Premier announced that they would establish a powerful and independent Ageing and Disability Commissioner to investigate and address the abuse of older people and adults with disability. This briefing paper considers the context of such a role and similar schemes in Australia and overseas. It looks at the prevalence of abuse of older people and adults with disability, outlines existing agencies and adult safeguarding laws that play a role in protecting these groups from abuse, and considers recommendations to establish agencies to protect vulnerable or at-risk adults from abuse and neglect.

Draft strategy to respond to the abuse of older people (elder abuse): WA have your say

Western Australia. Dept. of Communities
Perth, W.A. : Western Australia Dept. of Communities, 2019
The Western Australian Government is working to determine what actions are needed to prevent and respond to elder abuse. As part of this work, this draft strategy has been released for public comment. The document sets out the priority areas for action and explains how they will be achieved, and also provides background information on the nature and characteristics of elder abuse. This strategy is intended to guide government agencies and the community towards greater awareness and understanding of the causes, signs and consequences of elder abuse and guide collective action to prevent and address this form of abuse.

Elder abuse: key issues and emerging evidence

Dean A
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of elder abuse in Australia, and highlights the implications for policy-makers and practitioners. It reviews what is known about the nature and definition of elder abuse, the prevalence of elder abuse in community and institutional care settings, and the victim, perpetrator, and contextual risk factors. The paper also describes current initiatives, policy frameworks, and emerging practice that aim to prevent and address this type of abuse against older people. Elder abuse has gained increased recognition in recent years but further research is needed to help guide policy and practice.

Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, and ensuring proper clinical and medical care standards are maintained and practised: final report

Siewert R
Canberra, ACT : Commonwealth of Australia, 2019.
This report presenting the findings and recommendations of an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Government's Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices. The inquiry was called following incidents of poor quality care and abuse at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Facility in South Australia, with evidence coming to light of systemic issues affecting aged care services throughout Australia. The inquiry also investigated the adequacy and effectiveness of complaints handling processes at a state and federal level, consumer awareness of complaints mechanisms, reporting and feedback mechanisms, responses to reports of adverse incidents, medication handling and drug administration practices, injury monitoring and reporting, mandatory reporting of serious injury and mortality incidents, and the division of responsibility and accountability between residents, staff, aged care providers, and the state and the federal governments. This inquiry has taken two years to complete, and related reforms and new inquiries that have commenced in this period are also noted.

Assisting families with ageing-related relationship issues.

Mance P
CFCA short article 2 May 2019
In 2016, Relationship Australia developed the Elder Relationship Services Pilot Program to help address conflict within families around ageing-related issues. This is a significant and growing problem arising from the ageing of Australia's population and there is a service gap in the suite of alternative dispute resolution services for older people and their families. The Elder Relationship Services Pilot Program aimed to prevent and resolve family conflict, assist families to have difficult conversations, help families with elder people to plan for the future, support family members to resolve differences in ways that improve their relationships, and help families to make decisions that protect the wishes, rights and safety of family members. This article describes the program, reviews the presenting issues of clients, and notes some evaluation findings.

Insights into abuse of older people: analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics datasets

Hill T and Katz I
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
This study is part of a broader project into the prevalence of elder abuse in Australia. Though no Australian datasets currently measure all of the elements of abuse against older people, a previous scoping study identified several sources at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that could potentially provide data on some aspects of this type of abuse. This study follows up on these ABS sources to learn what can be known about elder abuse and identify gaps in the data in existing sources. Reviewing the Personal Safety Survey, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), the Crime Victimisation Survey, and the Recorded Crime Victims data, it investigates what evidence these sources provide on sexual violence and sexual abuse, partner violence and emotional abuse, economic abuse, and sense of safety. The study finds that though this existing data provides insights into the prevalence and nature of abuse of older people, they are not able to provide a robust estimation of abuse or much information about the dynamics and perpetrators of abuse or abuse in residential or other formal settings.
Subscribe to