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John's story


John is an 83yo man, who migrated to Australia in 1965. John has a diagnosis of depression, which is being treated with medications. About 3 months ago John had a fall, which left him with a few bruises and damaged his self-confidence.

John’s daughter Pippa and her son Anthony live with John. After John’s fall, he noticed that he stopped receiving any mail. John asked Pippa if she had noticed anything about the missing mail. Pippa assures John that when the mail is delivered to the mailbox, she makes sure to collect and open all her father’s mail so he won’t have to trouble himself about it. She also tells John that she handles any bills promptly. This makes John uneasy and he feels he’s still capable of dealing with his own mail. However, since he has become more dependent on Pippa for assistance and support, John is too fearful to confront her.

John begins to think that he has no control over his life and this makes him sad.


Regardless of age, older people have the same right to participate fully in various aspects of life. Sometimes older people might need assistance and support from families and relatives to do this, however everyone has the right to make their own decisions, while they have capacity.

After John’s fall, Pippa might have thought that she was helping her father. However, she didn’t check-in with him about his mail and whether he needed help with it.

John is now feeling devalued and he has become more unhappy. He might even have a sense of isolation. Simple actions can cause psychological and emotional distress.

*Personal details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821.

If it is an emergency, call 000.
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