Protecting yourself against elderly abuse

What do I need to know?

Abuse takes many forms. It can be emotional and psychological, financial, physical, sexual or neglect. You may be an older person experiencing abuse, a family member, or carer concerned for a person who may be suffering from or at risk of abuse. Often elder abuse occurs within complex relationships of trust and love, making it very difficult to know how best to address the issue, or improve the situation without information and support.

How can a professional help me?

A professional will be able to work with you to consider the best way forward in addressing your concerns. In complex situations, there might be a number of issues to be considered, requiring expert referrals and information. Whether this is offered through individual support and problem-solving, or by bringing together family members/ carers – the focus will be on de-escalation of conflict, improving communication and stopping any abuse that is occurring.

  • Individual, couple or family relationship counselling can support you if you are suffering abuse, or if the abuse of someone you care about is negatively affecting you. Counsellors who specialize in working with people challenged by elder abuse have specific knowledge and training in these issues as well as working with older people and/ or family member impacted by chronic health conditions, dementia and disability.
  • Mediation focusses on the rights, wishes and needs of the older person. Issues are identified and discussed, options explored, and outcomes negotiated and recorded. Sometimes the involvement of other expert professionals are recommended. Mediation assists older people, their families and carers to have meaningful and safe conversations, communicate respectfully, understand others’ views, and express their concerns.

All professionals will offer referrals if additional support is required once they understand your needs, concerns and how you want to proceed.

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