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.

Current and recent studies undertaken by the Elder Abuse team include:

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: [email protected]

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: [email protected]

New South Wales 
NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline    
Telephone: 1800 628 221    
Email: [email protected]

Northern Territory 
Elder Abuse Information Line  
Telephone: 1800 037 072    
Email: [email protected]

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit  
Telephone: 1300 651 192     
Email: [email protected] 

South Australia 
Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line    
Telephone: 1800 372 310     
Email: [email protected]

Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline  
Telephone: 1800 441 169     
Text: 0457 806 963     
Email: [email protected]

Senior Rights Victoria  
Telephone: 1300 368 821     
Email: [email protected]

Western Australia 
WA Elder Abuse Helpline  
Telephone: 1300 724 679     
Freecall: 1800 655 566 (Country Callers)     
Email: [email protected]