Elder abuse research

Examining the nature and prevalence of elder abuse in Australia, and ways to combat it


Support services are available if you want to talk to someone about elder abuse.

About AIFS' elder abuse research

AIFS' research into elder abuse has included developing a usable definition of elder abuse and examining the nature of elder abuse and its prevalence in the Australian population.

Our findings include that 1 in 6 older Australians are experiencing some form of abuse, and that elder abuse can take the form of:

  • psychological abuse (11.7%)
  • neglect (2.9%)
  • financial abuse (2.1%)
  • physical abuse (1.8%)
  • sexual abuse (1%).

People with poor physical or psychological health and higher levels of social isolation are more likely to experience elder abuse.

View all publications from the Elder Abuse National Research Project.


Related projects

AIFS has been commissioned by the Seniors Rights Service to research the experiences of isolation of older people in New South Wales. View the project page for Factors, dynamics and effects of isolation for older people.



The Family Law, Family Violence & Elder Abuse team  
Australian Institute of Family Studies  
Level 4, 40 City Road  
Southbank VIC 3006  

Email: eanr@aifs.gov.au

Assisted contact: If you have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for (03) 9214 7888
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for (03) 9214 7888

If you do not speak English, or English is your second language, and you need assistance to communicate with us, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 then ask for 9214 7888.


Elder abuse support services

1800 ELDERHelp 
Telephone: 1800 353 374 (national free call phone number that automatically redirects callers seeking information and advice on elder abuse with existing phone line service in their jurisdiction)

Australian Capital Territory
Older Persons Abuse Prevention Referral and Information Line 
Telephone: 02 6205 3535    
Email: oma@act.gov.au

New South Wales
NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline   
Telephone: 1800 628 221   
Email: nswadc@adc.nsw.gov.au

Northern Territory
Elder Abuse Information Line 
Telephone: 1800 037 072   
Email: info@dcls.org.au

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit 
Telephone: 1300 651 192    
Email: eapu@uccommunity.org.au 

South Australia
Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line   
Telephone: 1800 372 310    
Email: stopelderabuse@sa.gov.au

Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline 
Telephone: 1800 441 169    
Text: 0457 806 963    
Email: helpline@yoursaytas.org

Senior Rights Victoria 
Telephone: 1300 368 821    
Email: info@seniorsrights.org.au

Western Australia
WA Elder Abuse Helpline 
Telephone: 1300 724 679    
Freecall: 1800 655 566 (Country Callers)    
Email: rights@advocare.org.au