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Elderly Living In Fear Of Abuse

30 June 2004

Elderly Living In Fear Of Abuse

New Zealand First social services spokesperson Bill Gudgeon is concerned at a fresh report that a number of elderly people are living in fear of being abused by the people that they know and love.

Mr Gudgeon’s concerns follow a recent report to the Counties Manukau District Health Board, which revealed evidence from Age Concern that elderly abuse and neglect is a serious reality.

“Around 40 cases of financial abuse were reported to Age Concern last year. The total number is believed to be many times higher than this because older people have been reluctant to report their concerns,” Mr Gudgeon said.

“What sort of deterrents are there to the growing number of carers, family and friends who steal from the elderly?

“This is criminal behaviour, and the offenders face community service or reparation payments that are less than the amounts reportedly being defrauded.

“Elderly are having their pensions, their life savings taken from them, and nothing is being done to stop it,” said Mr Gudgeon.


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