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Elder Abuse Report Important First Step

26 February 2008

Elder Abuse Report Important First Step

Family First NZ is welcoming the Families Commission report Elder Abuse and Neglect released today.

“The report is an important first step in recognising and tackling a problem that has been simmering under the radar for too long,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

The report highlights a number of significant issues. These include the acknowledgement that there is limited research on elder abuse, which has made it difficult to realise the extent of the problem.

“Also of significance is the strong theme regarding the undervaluing of older people, and the link to the perceived ‘lack of productivity’ associated with people who are no longer in paid employment. Unfortunately this is a stigma that has also been attached to families who have chosen to have a fulltime parent at home and have resisted the huge pressure and financial incentive to put young children into daycare so that both parents can work.”

The report has also correctly identified the role of alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness, overburdened families, and families with a history of violence and the risks these present for ongoing abuse.

“These are similar factors that need to be tackled in relation to child abuse as well.”

“This report is a great start. The test will be in formulating policy and resources which give our elderly the respect and family support they deserve,” says Mr McCoskrie.


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