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Age Concern New Zealand Says 'Break The Silence' Around Elder Abuse

Age Concern New Zealand is joining the global movement on 15 June in recognising World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

“It is time to ‘Break the Silence’ on Elder Abuse, says Karen Billings-Jensen, Chief Executive Age Concern New Zealand.

“Elder abuse is a serious issue that affects our entire community. It is our collective responsibility to recognise it, speak up about it, and prevent it from happening.

"We want to send a message to older people that they are not alone and that there is help available, says Karen.

“We know it is hard to ask for help, but Age Concern make it easy. We provide information and resources for older people and their families on how to recognise and prevent elder abuse and where to get confidential help if they suspect abuse is happening.

"We believe that everyone has the right to live free from abuse and neglect, and we hope that our 'Break the Silence' campaign will encourage more people to speak up about this important issue." says Karen.

“Unfortunately, Elder Abuse often happens close to home, in our families. So, we all have a part to play to respect and protect older people by speaking up and breaking the silence.

“In the last year Age Concerns have worked with 2768 cases but we know there are more people suffering in silence, going unnoticed and unreported.

“Recently I heard of a situation where a person had waited over a year to ask for help, and in that time the abuse had escalated. They were so regretful they didn’t speak up sooner and said, “if only we had called Age Concern last year, it wouldn’t have got to this, we could have stopped this abuse earlier”.

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"Age Concern New Zealand is committed to preventing elder abuse and supporting those affected by it. Many older adults may feel ashamed or embarrassed about being mistreated, or they may fear retribution from their abuser. The key message we want them to hear is that abuse is not their fault and that there is help and support available”.

Worried? Let’s chat about that. For confidential advice and support freephone 0800 65 2 105

Together we can end Elder Abuse.

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