There has been a substantial increase in calls to the Seniors Rights Victoria confidential telephone helpline which provides information, support and referrals on weekdays from 10am to 5pm (excluding public holidays and between Christmas and New Year’s Day).
In 2016–17, the helpline service received 3379 calls (2696 previous year), of which 3285 were related to elder abuse or associated issues.
Women made up more than 75 per cent of all callers. However, we recognise that elder abuse can affect all older persons and cater our services accordingly.
The most prevalent issues raised were financial abuse at 25 per cent (28 per cent last year) and emotional/psychological abuse at 24 per cent (29 per cent last year), followed by adult children returning home at 10 per cent (6 per cent last year), physical abuse at 9 per cent (5 per cent last year), and neglect at 8 per cent (6 per cent last year). Very often a client experienced more than one type of abuse.
A significant number of our callers were from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, with 234 advices made to clients whose birth country was not Australia, representing 35 different countries of origin.