The problem is serious in New Zealand and internationally. The United Nations has officially deemed elder abuse to be a public health scourge and an attack on human rights.
So, it has established World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June. To highlight the dangers, and to support this international campaign, Age Concern is running a series of events around the country for a week to alert the public to the dangers.
It says elder abuse can be a single act of harm against an older person, or a pattern of acts, or it can be the lack of appropriate action where there is an expectation of trust. Age Concern says elder abuse usually occurs behind closed doors and is seldom noticed in public, so raising awareness in all communities is crucial.
It urges people to call in if they suspect elder abuse might be happening. It says this should be done fast, because the longer elder abuse goes on for, the more harm is caused, and the harder it becomes to remedy the damage. To support its argument, Age Concerns gave statistics from July 2020 to June 2021.