As people age, they are increasingly confronted with decisions that can impact their quality of life, dignity, financial security and relationships. Of further concern is that these complex issues may also present opportunities for people to take advantage of the vulnerabilities that age and diminished capacity can create.
What is Elder Abuse?
‘Elder abuse’ is any act that occurs within a relationship of trust that causes harm or distress to an elderly person. This abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, or financial and may be perpetrated by family members, friends, carers or other trusted persons. Unfortunately the issue is becoming increasingly prevalent in the community, and it usually takes place behind closed doors. In fact, it is estimated that between 15-20% of people aged 65 years or older experience elder abuse.
This abuse can occur anywhere, including in places of care, such as aged care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. Much like other forms of family violence, elder abuse is not always readily identifiable as such. It often has devastating consequences on a person’s quality of life and ability to support themselves, as well as an impact on family and friends.
The most common forms of elder abuse in Australia are psychological and financial abuse. Psychological abuse includes intimidating or bullying behaviour, such as threatening to send a person to an aged care home, denying access to loved ones and support systems and persistent accusations of dementia. Financial abuse relates to the improper or illegal use of a person’s property or finances and can include taking advantage of trusted positions such as an Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney or resorting to deceiving or coercing a person.
How can Bell Legal Group help?
Bell Legal Group is committed to providing elder law advice to the elderly and their families on all elements of aged care. The best course of action is prevention, so if you are concerned that you or someone that you love is at risk, it is imperative that you seek help before the situation worsens.
We have experience in:
- applications for the appointment of guardians or administrators;
- applications for urgent interim orders;
- advice regarding contesting an application for the appointment of a guardian or administrator;
- revoking and putting in place new Enduring Powers of Attorney;
- putting in place new Wills; and
- reviewing aged care facility documents.
Contact us for help
If you have concerns that an elderly person is being abused, please contact our experienced Estates team today by calling us on 07 5597 3366, by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply complete the Contact Us form below and we’ll get in touch.