Elder abuse 

A series of free webinars for financial counsellors will help them recognise and stop elder abuse in WA. 

Seniors getting ripped off has sadly become an increasingly common problem in Australia, especially when it comes to power of attorney and wills. 

Before covid-19, the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimated that between 2 and 14 per cent of older Australians were experiencing elder abuse in any given year, with financial abuse the most prevalent form.The pandemic has exacerbated this issue with seniors more isolated than ever and susceptible to losing their savings to shady family members or clever fraudsters. 

Provided by Advocare, the live webinars will teach the financial services industry how to spot and stop financial abuse. The state government are funding the $71,500 training program. 

“Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse and is both under-reported and misunderstood,” says seniors and ageing minister Mick Murray.

“Financial counsellors are often the first people to see the evidence of financial elder abuse and I thank the financial counselling sector for their involvement and commitment to combatting elder abuse.”

The webinars will cover the key issues of financial elder abuse such as how to recognise it, what questions to ask, and what immediate action should be taken.

It will also cover family and cultural expectations as well as information on the range of community and legal pathways available to victims.

Importantly, additional common legal options to protect people’s rights including enduring power of attorney and guardianship will be covered, including issues specific to vulnerable communities such as rural, regional and remote areas.

Last month The Australian Human Rights Commission launched an elder abuse awareness campaign on the International Day of Older Persons. The commission’s hard-hitting video highlighted the ‘red flags’ to look out for – youtu.be/khniYQZUOv0

To report elder abuse in WA call the helpline 1300 724 679. 

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