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]