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Inclusive communities help prevent elder abuse

Hon Jo Goodhew

Minister for Senior Citizens

13 June 2014

Media Statement
Inclusive communities help prevent elder abuse

Older people are entitled to feel safe and live free of fear, says Senior Citizens Minister Jo Goodhew.

Each year approximately 2,000 older people are referred to Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention (EANP) services across the country.

“Elder abuse can take many forms and includes behaviours or neglect which causes physical, psychological, financial or sexual harm to an older person,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“With World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Sunday 15th it is a timely reminder to all of us that a whole of community approach is needed to address this issue.

“Communities need to share responsibility for their older people’s wellbeing. In a caring, inclusive community, elder abuse and neglect will not go unnoticed.

“As a Government, we want an environment where older people can live life as healthy, independent, connected and respected members of our communities.

“I express my gratitude to all those who work to fight elder abuse and neglect, to raise awareness, and provide support and training. It’s through the efforts of these people that older New Zealanders are supported to live safe, healthy lives as active and valued members of our communities.”

There are 24 government-funded specialist EANP services around New Zealand, with two new specialist services being established in Wairoa and in Rotorua, which will also cover Kawerau.

“I urge anyone who is worried about their situation, an older person or relative, to seek further information on EANP services. These can be found on the Ministry of Social Development’s website or by calling the Family Violence Information Line on 0800 456 450,” says Mrs Goodhew.

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