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Age Concern Against Abuse

Age Concern Media Release

Age Concern Against Abuse

13 June 2008

“I’ll give something to whinge about if I find you in my kitchen again.”

“You obviously don’t love me if you won’t take out a mortgage to let me set up my business.”

“I won’t let you see your grandchildren unless you give me that money”.

Abuse like this destroys trust, cuts at a person’s feelings of self worth, reduces their ability to function normally and damages their health. It is often referred to as psychological abuse.

“Our services see hundreds of cases of psychological abuse every year”, says Louise Collins from Age Concern New Zealand. “We must stop it happening. Older people are entitled to the same rights and respect as any other person”.

Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services throughout New Zealand receive thousands of calls each year alerting them to possible incidents of elder abuse. We know from international research that this represents only a very small percentage of the elder abuse that is occurring.

Sunday 15 June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This year New Zealand Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services are focussing on Psychological Abuse of older people.

Statistics gathered from these services show that over 60% of confirmed cases of abuse include psychological abuse. As intimated in the quotes above, this is often accompanied by other types of abuse such as stealing an older person’s money or possessions, or physical violence.

Age Concern New Zealand is committed to eliminating ageist attitudes that demean older people and lead to abuse. To this end, they have produced two DVDs that promote respect of older people, designed to be used for training those working with older people or to increase public awareness of what respect means to older people. In the making of the DVDs it became apparent that older people value respect very highly.

“Respect is the key to combating ageist attitudes such as those expressed at the beginning of this article”, says Louise Collins. “By promoting respect of older people, we can work towards eliminating elder abuse and creating a better society for all”.

Age Concern provides services throughout New Zealand to support older people to live safe and fulfilled lives. Information about these can be found on the Age Concern Website: www.ageconcern.org.nz including the contact details for all the Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services throughout New Zealand.


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