Abuse of older people an epidemic in NZ society

NZ Herald 13 June 2015
Elder abuse is rife in New Zealand society and half of all instances seen by Age Concern involve financial abuse. As many as one in 10 older people may be victims of financial elder abuse, research suggests.

Monday marks the beginning of the 10th annual Elder Abuse Awareness Week. It’s a shock to discover how little humanity some Kiwis have when it comes to the older generation.

“We consider it unacceptable to hit our children and we also need to consider it unacceptable to abuse our elders,” says Robyn Scott, Age Concern’s chief executive.

“We don’t think about the way we speak about older people and we don’t think about their rights.”

Some people think because someone is old it doesn’t matter what happens to them any more or they don’t need money to spend, she says.

We all need to keep an eye out for elder abuse. “Don’t let fear of meddling in someone else’s business stop you from voicing your concern. It is time to stop elder abuse in our communities,” says Scott.
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