Age groups want watchdog on abuse

NZ Herald 21 October 2013
The Government has been urged to create a new aged care watchdog with legal power to tackle the rising incidence of financial abuse of vulnerable elderly people.

Grey Power and the Aged Care Association are worried by the increasing number of elderly people being ripped off.

The abuse is mainly by adult sons and daughters with authority to manage an aged parent’s affairs under the legal tool called an “enduring power of attorney”.

The two groups want the Government to establish an aged care commissioner, akin to the Health and Disability Commissioner, with legal powers to investigate complaints of abuse and to ask the Family Court to review how a person has managed an enduring power of attorney.

Age Concern’s statistics, which are thought to capture only a fraction of the problem, show the annual number of confirmed cases handled by its elder abuse and neglect prevention services increased from 515 in 2006/7, to 583 in 2010/11.
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