Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


P epidemic puts ageing parents at risk of financial abuse

The P epidemic is taking a hidden toll on an unexpected group – the ageing parents of adults using meth, who Wesley Community Action social workers say can be the victims of financial and other abuse.

In some cases, older people have lost thousands of dollars to their P-dependent children.

Meghan Cavanagh, who works with the Elder Abuse Response Service run by Wesley Community Action in the greater Wellington region, says she’s dealt with a cluster of cases recently.

“Even a small P habit can cost $700 to $1000 a week,” she says. “The financial abuse can be very subtle, such as eating their parent’s food and not contributing towards the costs of living in the house, or more seriously, taking money from their parent’s account.”

Sometimes ageing parents are taken to money machines and forced to make withdrawals.

Recent examples include a P-dependent woman who stole her mother’s savings. “We have other cases where we’ll never know how much financial damage adult children have inflicted on their parents.”

Ms Cavanagh says financial abuse can be part of a wider range of elder abuse, including psychological and sometimes physical abuse. Most cases of P-related elder abuse are referred to the response service by the police as a result of family violence.

“The violence against the older person is what triggers the neighbours to call the police, who refer them to us. Once you get mum or dad talking they start to slowly disclose what’s been happening. It can take a while because there are a lot of societal taboos around P use.”

She says older people are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse because they start to lose their financial literacy and capacity as they age. While they may be able to keep track of cash, many find it more difficult to reconcile bank accounts with a card associated with them.

“Things like pay-wave cards are an easy target because you don’t need a pin to use them. Or an older person may give their card and pin number to a family member to do the shopping and suddenly $300 is gone from their account.”

Claire Booth, manager of Wesley Community Action’s Elder Care Team, says financial abuse of older people is common, even in cases where P is not involved.

“We believe money is a driving motivation for elder abuse. People may use psychological abuse, such as bullying or coercion or blackmail or threats, but their motivation is often financial.”

She says that in most cases older people are abused by members of their own family or by friends. “Older people are particularly vulnerable when they are isolated and alone and have dementia as well.”

Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Friday June 15


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>


Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>


DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>


JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>


Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>


IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>





InfoPages News Channels