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Safety and Security for Older Women

Discrimination Age Discrimination

National Summit on Women’s Safety

Safety and Security for Older Women

Dr Kay Patterson
Age Discrimination Commissioner

Via Video Conference

Tuesday 7 September 2021

 

 

Introduction

I would like to thank Senator the Hon Marise Payne and Senator the Hon Anne Ruston for inviting me to speak at this National Summit.

I acknowledge the Kulin Nation peoples as the traditional owners of the land from which I speak and pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging.

As Age Discrimination Commissioner, I have a very small team and have cut my coat to fit my cloth and have made it my priority to address three major manifestations of age discrimination – age discrimination in the workplace, older women’s risk of homelessness and elder abuse in the community.

Ageism, age discrimination in the workplace, homelessness and factors leading to elder abuse all impact on older women.  

Older women in Australia

Like most nations around the world, Australia’s population profile is changing.  We are living longer and we are also living more years of healthy life.

By 2047, in just over 25 years, it is projected 1 in 5 older Australians will be aged 85 and over. The number of older Australians aged 65 and over is expected to more than double by 2057. [1]    

This is something to be celebrated but we must also be prepared to face the challenges and opportunities accompanying these demographic changes. It is equally important to recognise how gender, ageism and other factors, can affect the ageing experience.

Compared with men, women have relatively longer life expectancies, but lower incomes and fewer assets accumulated in old age. Factors contributing to this include the gender pay gap, historic gender roles and the increased likelihood of women taking career breaks or working part time to undertake unpaid caring responsibilities.

Age discrimination and older women workers

As I mentioned earlier one of the areas on which I am focussing is age discrimination in the workplace.

We know that age discrimination in the workplace exists, and that it is worse for older women.

Based on 2016 ABS Census data,[2] older men were more likely to be working than older women (17% of men in the labour force, compared with 10% of women). Also, older men were more likely to be working full time and in higher paid jobs.

Superannuation is another key example. Women aged over 60 have lower superannuation balances than their male counterparts. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency reported that in 2016-17,[3] the mean superannuation balance of women aged 60-64 was 17.4% lower than men of the same age.

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2015 National Prevalence Survey of Age Discrimination in the Workplace[4] found age discrimination had different impacts on men than women.

Older women were more likely than older men to be perceived as having outdated skills, being too slow to learn new things or as being someone who would deliver an unsatisfactory job.

Older women were more likely than men to report that the most recent episode of age discrimination they had experienced affected their self-esteem or mental health and caused them stress – and that it had a negative impact on their family, career, or finances.

Several submissions to the Commission’s Willing to Work Inquiry[5] noted that, for older women, their appearance as they age can be a particular source of discrimination. One submission noted that, ‘whereas early signs of ageing such as grey hair and wrinkles can be read as marks of maturity and authority on men’, this is not the case for women.

This is known as gendered ageism,[6] a phenomenon that some have connected to the heightened value placed on appearance for women in the labour market.

Most carers are women – in fact, 70% of carers are women.[7] This has an impact on their workforce participation.

Flexible work practices need to be age agnostic to meet the needs of employees across age groups. Women take on more caring responsibilities over their working life. Women over 60 can be caring or providing support to their parents or other dependants and wish to access their organisation’s flexible work practice policies. However, many organisations tend to see these as applying predominantly to younger women with pre-school or school-aged children.
 

What can be done?

As part of my focus on age discrimination and the workplace, I chair the Collaborative Partnership on Mature Age Employment, and employment issues facing older women is one of the Partnership’s key focus areas.

We have five generations in the workplace for the first time in history. So, I am always interested to hear of organisations which are developing and implementing strategies to support and maximise their multigenerational workforce.

There is also a need for innovative policy solutions. There have been two very recent initiatives in Victoria:

  • Women Can Australia have a program aimed at getting disadvantaged women into sustainable employment through free TAFE courses in aged and disability care – using a peer supported model with other wrap around assistance.
     
  • COTA Victoria, utilising the Federal Government Try, Test and Learn Fund and working with a number of partners, recently undertook an employment project to support job seekers 50 years and over. 37 participants completed a Certificate 3 in Ageing and Disability Support.  They also received additional assistance such as digital literacy, financial counselling and help with employment placements – 30 of the 37 participants have been able to find sustainable employment within a month of finalising their course.[8] 

 

By mentioning these two examples I am not suggesting there are not many others out there, initiated and supported by not-for-profits, government, business, and foundations.  These are an invaluable contribution to supporting the workforce participation of older women.

In mid-May 2020 there were 354,000 Australians aged 50 years and above registered for Centrelink’s Jobactive program – double the 175,321 registered in December 2019.[9]  There is an expectation that these numbers have increased even further since then. 

Young people and older Australians, especially women, have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.  Evidence from Australian Human Rights Commission research[10] indicated it takes older unemployed people twice as long as unemployed younger people to get a job – some of these older job seekers may never work again.

In a 2018 report,[11] The Brotherhood of St Lawrence questioned the suitability of Jobactive for older jobseekers. COTA Australia CEO Ian Yates has also argued that Jobactive needs a “specific stream” for mature-aged people, and I am inclined to agree.[12]

Given the concern about the appropriateness of Jobactive for older jobseekers – there needs to be research assessing the relative effectiveness of Jobactive vis a vis other initiatives, like those I have mentioned targeted at the needs of older job seekers.

What I would like to see in the National Plan is greater provision of up-skilling and re-skilling programs for older women – innovative, durable and well-evaluated programs leading to long term, flexible and appropriate employment.  We know older women often lack skills and confidence as they may start with less training and then move in and out of work over their working lives.

I would also hope that one immediate goal would be to have an Australian based website which brings together information of all such initiatives and their evaluations, as well as all the available resources for setting up training, re-training and up-skilling programs.

Unemployment, lower incomes and relatively lower savings all reduce the financial security of women and, directly or indirectly, their safety as they age.

 

Older women at risk of homelessness

The next topic I’d like to discuss is older women at risk of homelessness.

Stable, affordable housing is a key safety issue for older women.

About 10 years ago my local council Boroondara undertook a research project with Monash University exploring the experiences and issues which place single older women (55 years and over) at risk of homelessness or that lead to homelessness.  One of the findings of that challenging research was that “community awareness of the issue of homelessness in older women was low”.[13] 

About the same time, I was asked to chair a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Homelessness by the then Minister for Community Services.  One of the requirements was for our Committee to identify the fastest growing groups of homeless or those at risk of homelessness – the Committee reported to the Minister that young people leaving out-of-home care and older women were the two groups which were homeless or increasingly at risk of homelessness.

Fast forward to today.

Older women are the fastest growing group of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, increasing 30% between 2011 and 2016. [14] 

There is a desperate need for appropriate policies and adequate resources to address this every-increasing demand for safe and secure housing for older women

Given my resources I have focussed on one group of women – those at risk of homelessness who have some assets and/or capacity to continue working. They are a hidden cohort of older women who have led conventional lives yet find themselves at risk of homelessness as they approach or enter retirement.

In 2019, I launched a paper, Older Women’s Risk of Homelessness: Background Paper.[15] This paper explores the risk factors behind older women’s risk of homelessness. These include:

  • being single
  • renting
  • living alone
  • experiencing economic disadvantage
  • experiencing family and domestic violence
  • having a lack of family support
  • loss of a partner or relationship breakdown
  • personal factors, such as a mental health issue, a history of abuse and having a lower level of education
  • experiencing a crisis, such as job loss, illness, or eviction.

For some women, a single crisis or change in circumstances can result in homelessness with little or no warning. Whereas for other women, a combination of factors built up over many years, such as financial insecurity, the high cost of housing, or relationship breakdown, may lead them to slip down the housing ladder over time.

What can be done

During my discussions with a range of people who are working on this issue across various sectors, I hear about many innovative models.

We need multiple solutions which should consider the range of circumstances of the women in question—from their assets, income and capacity to work, and their age, through to their housing requirements and preferences. The aim must be to enhance women’s housing and economic security across the remainder of their working lives and through retirement.

I would like to encourage those of you participating today to consider a range of policy options.

Preventative solutions are required to assist the cohort of women with some assets but not sufficient to own their own home. My concern is that when they lose their job, they run their assets down as they can’t see any alternative.

Shared equity is one potential model I have been discussing with a range of stakeholders. The aim would be for them to own sufficient equity in their home by the time they reach pension age so that they can afford rent on the portion they do not own, and other costs associated with the portion they do own.

Any older women who choose to participate in a scalable shared equity model, rather than risk running down their assets, will not only gain housing security at the individual level, but also have the added broader community benefit of reducing the significant pressure on social and community housing.  

They will also be securely housed as they age and able to receive aged care in the home if needed or have some equity in a home when they need residential age care.  Some of them will be needing care at the time when demand for aged care will reach a peak in the next 20 years as the baby boom moves into its 80s and 90s.

Developing practical solutions requires engagement across sectors—from all levels of government, property, finance, and business – including banks and superannuation funds, self-managed super funds, property developers, planners, the retirement living sector – through to the not-for-profit sector, including community housing and philanthropy.

There is a lack of incentives, which could well be cost effective, which could be considered to encourage members of super funds or SMS funds to invest in approved shared equity funds or for investors to do the same.

There is a need for an online hub to collect and share the range of innovative models being explored and initiated across Australia and internationally.

What is needed is coordination and collaboration to look at what works and what the barriers are – and they are significant – local governments that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk and fail to support innovative building applications, changes in planning laws, the possible effect of losing DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status if an NGO is involved in shared equity schemes, and I could go on.

The National Plan needs to have ‘Housing Security for Women’ as a priority and involve policies which address the plethora of situations facing women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness including older women.  Secure, safe housing for women is a ‘National Social Emergency’ and needs to be dealt with as such.

Elder abuse

Now, onto the issue of elder abuse.

Over 50 years ago, when I was studying child development, one of my lecturers was severely criticised by her colleagues for showing us a US 16mm black and white film of children who had been abused. Other staff in the Department told us that she was an alarmist and that those sorts of things happened in the US, but not in Australia.

We have since seen how wrong they were. 

Elder abuse started to gain recognition as an issue in the 1990s and has been slowly gaining momentum since then. It is now at the stage in public awareness and political consciousness that child abuse was many years ago, and family violence was until relatively recently.

While there is currently no conclusive data on the prevalence of elder abuse in Australia, it is estimated that between 2-14% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year.[16]

A 2021 survey by COTA Australia found that 4% of older Australians reported experiencing elder abuse themselves and 12% reported knowing someone else who has experienced elder abuse.[17]

The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to undertake a national prevalence study on elder abuse in Australia – and those interested in this area are eagerly awaiting the release of the results of this completed study which we hope will be very soon. The findings will help all of those involved in prevention, education, advocacy, and support to understand elder abuse in Australia better and to tailor our responses accordingly.

Based on the evidence that is available to us, older women are more likely to be victims than older men. For some older women, this represents continuation of a lifelong pattern of family violence, including sexual assault.[18]

A 2020 report by the National Ageing Research Institute and Seniors Rights Service Victoria, titled Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria, reported 72% of older people seeking advice from the helpline were women and 28% men.[19]

Call data from other elder abuse phone lines have similarly reflected a higher proportion of calls concerning older women. For example, over 60% of calls received every quarter by the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission about older people concerned older women.[20]

Like domestic and family violence, elder abuse can take many forms.

Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse according to current data. Other forms include physical abuse as well as emotional and psychological abuse – such as isolation and grandparent alienation – and sexual abuse and neglect - or it can be a combination of these different forms of abuse. Sexual abuse of older women is often not talked about and not often reported.

I would like here to acknowledge Dr Catherine Barrett the founder of Celebrate Ageing, who through its OPAL Institute has been instrumental in focussing on issues of abuse, including sexual abuse, experienced by older women and older people in the LGBTI community.  She connected with the late Margarita Solis, who reached out to her from Queensland with her story of sexual abuse at the age of 95.

Together they made a 20-minute poignant and moving video about Margarita’s story so that other older women would not feel it was their fault and would know that there was help available. I would encourage everyone listening today to watch Margarita’s video telling her own story.[21]

The perpetrator was the acting manager of the Seniors Rental Service she was living in. In her testimony, Margarita encourages people to listen and not dismiss the stories of older women who report sexual abuse. The perpetrator was charged with two counts of sexual assault and was given a six-months suspended sentence.

Margarita is likely the first older woman in Australia to share publically her story of sexual abuse, which speaks a ton as to how underreported this issue is and the work that needs to be done to support and give confidence to older survivors.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety exposed the extent of elder abuse in all its forms occurring in Aged Care - such as violence, abuse, neglect and unlawful sexual contacts. The Commission estimated that there are approximately 50 residents per week experiencing sexual abuse and 30.8% of residents living in aged care facilities have experienced neglect. [22] 

Abuse in residential aged care and aged care in the home needs a specific and targeted response. However some of the measures I am talking about today would benefit aged care recipients as well.

Neglect also occurs in the community and in worst case scenarios can end in death.

In one horrific example, a 77-year-old woman in Tasmania died as a result of hypothermia - cold exposure. She had advanced dementia and in the middle of winter in 2010 was put out to sleep in a shipping container which was being converted into living premises by her daughter and son-in-law. The container was not insulated.  

The coroner found that the daughter “had systematically disengaged her mother from outside support and assistance”. [23] The coroner’s report also identified that she was severely underweight, just one of the signs that she had been inadequately cared for in the lengthy period leading up to her death.

There was also evidence of financial exploitation and emotional abuse in this case, highlighting how elder abuse can often be a combination of these different forms. 

The daughter was a registered nurse and husband a disability support worker. They were convicted of manslaughter, and both received wholly suspended sentences of two years each.

Elder abuse is also different from domestic and family violence in that perpetrators of abuse, which is most often financial and psychological are most commonly the older person’s own son or daughter.

The report I mentioned earlier, Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria, found that over 90% of elder abuse experienced by callers to the helpline was perpetrated by a family member, most commonly sons (39%) or daughters (28%).[24]

This may make the option of ‘moving on’ from harmful relationships more difficult or perhaps even unthinkable compared with partner-to-partner family violence. The older person may also blame themselves – “What did I do that has caused my son/daughter to behave in this way?”

The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) conducted a small qualitative study which found that while many older people experiencing elder abuse wanted to be free from abuse and gain recompense for financial losses, they also expressed concern for the perpetrator and wanted them to receive appropriate supports, such as for alcohol, drug, or gambling addiction, or for mental health issues.[25]

One older person was quoted saying: ‘You’ve got no choice. You can’t just say, “You’re a bad son’, and you couldn’t shut them off. You can’t. Because you still worry about him”.

This highlights the complexity of elder abuse and the need for a range of options and interventions at all stages to address this sensitive and multifaceted issue.

It also highlights the need to recognise that while there are many parallels between elder abuse and family violence there are also significant differences.

We need to take note of these nuances when supporting older women in the overlapping fields of family violence and elder abuse.

Elder abuse during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided ripe conditions for elder abuse to flourish due to increased social isolation and financial pressures within families – both major risk factors for abuse.

In many parts of Australia, helpline calls have gone up during the pandemic period.       

Between November 2020 to April 2021, the number of calls to the National Elder Abuse phone line increased by 99% from the previous period (May-October 2020).

In Victoria, the number of family violence incidents involving older people 55 and over as victims rose over 20 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.[26]

I have been hearing troubling stories from frontline workers of incidents including pressure to change wills, misuse of bank accounts and powers of attorney, cancellation of aged care packages and limiting of GP visits. 

I was also concerned to hear of cases where physical distancing regulations during the pandemic have been used by the relatives of older people and others as a reason for isolating them.

In normal times, social isolation is already a risk factor for elder abuse. Now, whether due to physical distancing measures that have applied at various times or individual assessments about health risks related to the pandemic, older people are staying at home more and advocacy services are concerned that they are at increased risk of abuse due to:

  • being at home for extended periods with the perpetrator
  • not meeting others, such as allied health professionals, hairdressers, or pharmacists, who are in the position of being community responders to the red flags for elder abuse. 
  • Perpetrators experiencing stress, anxiety, financial pressure resulting from job or business loss or reduced work hours, thereby enhancing the financial pressures that are drivers of elder abuse.

Many advocacy services I have spoken to during the pandemic also tell me that they are concerned, not only by the number of calls coming in, but rather by the number of people potentially unable to call or walk into an office to get help.

Now more than ever we need to be on the alert against elder abuse.

I also want to make the point that while older Australians are a very visible part of the COVID-19 narrative, their opinions and stories are not always being heard. It is vital that, wherever possible, we balance people’s vulnerability to this virus with their ongoing rights to autonomy and to be treated with dignity and respect.

What is being done

As Age Discrimination Commissioner, I have been working throughout my term to raise awareness of elder abuse and advocate for implementation of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2017 report, Elder Abuse: A National Legal Response.[27] There have been some significant gains to date.

The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has put in place the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023.[28] A number of initiatives have been implemented or are in progress.

We now have the national free call line 1800ELDERHelp (1800 353 374).

We also have COMPASS, an online elder abuse knowledge hub and service directory.

Other positive initiatives include Health Justice Partnerships and the funding of mediation services as an alternative to courts.

Non-government organisations have been active in raising awareness and providing services not to mention the growing academic research in this field.  

I also want to mention a recent tax amendment, which was announced in the last Budget and came into effect on 1 July this year.[29] The amendment provides a Capital Gains Tax exemption for granny flat arrangements where there is a formal written agreement. Previously, families may have opted for informal arrangements to avoid CGT, which left older people unprotected and at greater risk of financial abuse and even homelessness. This is a small change that has mostly gone under the radar, but it is a very important change which all older Australians and professionals advising older people such as lawyers and financial advisers need to know about.

A lot of good work is underway but there is still much more to do.

What needs to be done

In the next 20-30 years, Australia will undergo its largest intergenerational transfer of wealth, estimated to be over $3.5 trillion.[30]

We know financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse and the risks of this occurring has been exacerbated in the current pandemic environment, which will most likely have long lasting impacts.

Now more than ever we need to be vigilant and continue to step up efforts to counter financial abuse of older Australians.

Harmonisation of Enduring Powers of Attorney

Enduring powers of attorney, wills and other advanced planning documents are important tools for safeguarding older Australians as they age. But they can also be misused and become instruments for financial abuse.

To this end I have been advocating for all the Australian Attorneys-General to agree to:

(1) a national register of enduring power of attorney and guardianship documents; and  

(2) harmonisation of laws around powers of attorney across jurisdictions.

So far, we have seen some movement towards a national register and I have been participating in the Attorney-General Department’s consultation process on this.

However, the same cannot be said of harmonisation and I am committed to ensure that progress towards nationally consistent laws does not fall of the radar and that both the National Register and harmonisation are progressed or at the very least, there is some form of transition to a common document over time.

The reasons for harmonisation are clear.

Current inconsistencies across jurisdictions cause confusion in the community, make it difficult for families to understand the rules, and for experts to provide advice across jurisdictions. 

The differences also impede cooperation between state and territory public advocates in investigating instances of abuse of an attorney’s powers. 

Harmonisation would make it easier for families to look after older family members in other jurisdictions as well as to educate older people about their rights and attorneys about their responsibilities.  This education process would be invaluable and would make it easier to produce materials for those people for whom English is not their first language.

It always surprises me how many people do not know that they can revoke their power of attorney, appoint more than one attorney and set conditions and limitations in their enduring Power of Attorney.

Nationally consistent laws on enduring powers of attorney just makes sense. It is something that will only become more important and pressing as Australia’s population continues to age and we have a growing cohort of older people – especially older women – who may be living alone or in a different state from their substitute decision makers.

I am on a mission – together with Law Council of Australia and its current President, the Australian Banking Association, the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Associations, COTA Australia and many others – to ensure that harmonisation of enduring powers of attorney is progressed.

Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Banking Association, and I have each met with or spoken to all the Attorneys General and they to a person agree for the need for consistent laws regarding powers of attorney,

It is not rocket science – there are an army of us willing to be involved in the solution – what I fervently hope is that it will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Australian Attorneys General in October and that they announce at the next National Elder Abuse Conference in Tasmania next February that before we get to the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Australian Law Reform Commission Report next June that the Attorneys have an urgent  plan of action to implement a nationally consistent enduring power of attorney. 

It is a measure which doesn’t require huge dollars, but it does require co-operation and determination and would have the effect of enabling everyone to understand the importance of their rights regarding their enduring documents and the responsibilities involved in exercising a power of attorney.  All of which would help to reduce the insidious abuse arising from the misuse of these documents.

Elder abuse education

I am also committed to continuing to promote elder abuse education and training for all people and professionals who interact with older people.

Many excellent education and learning programs have already been developed. For example, the Commission recently advised on the development of the Older Person’s Advocacy Network’s (OPAN’s) online ‘Abuse of the Older Person eLearning Program for Health Professionals’.

OPAN and Dr Catherine Barrett are now working on a eLearning program on sexual abuse to add to this educational arsenal.

There are also other workforce training and education programs which exist or are being developed in financial, legal, banking and other sectors.

I cannot stress enough the importance of these programs, because for many older people especially those who may be isolated or homebound – and we know older women are more likely to live alone[31] - an interaction with a health professional, bank teller or frontline service provider could be one of few opportunities for elder abuse to be identified.

Awareness raising in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities

For the remaining years of my term as Age Discrimination Commissioner I am also hoping to raise awareness of elder abuse in CALD communities and other minority groups.

The Commission has developed elder abuse bookmarks and posters to raise awareness of elder abuse and the availability of national phone helpline. These resources are currently available in English, Italian, Greek, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, German and more languages will be rolled out progressively.

Suggestions for the next National Plan

In the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, I would strongly encourage policymakers to refer to the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians.

I have not had time to mention all those groups experiencing abuse in all its forms – those in residential aged and disability services, those in aged and disability care in the home, those from a non-English speaking background, First Nations people and older people in the LGBTI community.  The National Plan needs to mine all the relevant reviews, Royal Commissions and incorporate the appropriate recommendations into the National Plan.  

This would entail exploring in detail initiatives and programs which are being implemented and opportunities to coordinate efforts to combat family violence and elder abuse – recognising both the overlaps and differences between the two in the context of older women.

To provide some examples:

I would like to see the National Elder Abuse phone line, COMPASS website and other important initiatives consistently shared and communicated in a linked-up way on family violence platforms and services for women – and vice versa.

I also believe there is a real need to develop materials and provide information about elder abuse and available supports to new arrivals – both before they arrive and after they have settled in Australia.

Conclusion

Last week on the ABC 7:30’s Why Women are Angry, Dr Emma Fulu, Director of the Equality Institute, reminded us respectfully and appropriately “in bringing to light”[32] the issues of violence and discrimination against women we can overlook or pay less attention to some groups over others and that the voices of some women are not elevated, or in fact maybe silenced – and I would add to her list older women and I mean all older women.

We could all ask ourselves why we weren’t marching in the street when Margarita told her story about being sexually abused or the woman who died alone and neglected in a shipping container in northern Tasmania in midwinter.   

Whether it is a little girl of 2, a woman of 22, 42, or 92 we should be equally outraged and raise our voices against all forms of abuse against women – irrespective of their age. 

I want to conclude by reiterating the importance of capturing the voices and priorities of older women in the next National Plan and other efforts to enhance the safety and security of women in Australia.

It is also critical we recognise the diversity of older women and the contributions they have made to society through the years.

We have had previous campaigns against abuse for example reclaim the night and now we need a campaign to reclaim the right - the right of all, Australian women including, older women, to feel and to be safe and secure.

Thank you.

 

 

 


 

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Older Australians at a glance, Cat. No: AGE 87, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/web/194/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/demographics-of-older-australians/australias-changing-age-gender-profile

[2]Australian Bureau of Statistic, 4125.0 – Gender Indicators, Australia, Sept 2018, https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Sep%202018~Main%20Features~Economic%20Security~4

[3]Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Women’s economic security in retirement (2020). At https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Women%27s_economic_security_in_retirement.pdf

[4] Australian Human Rights Commission, National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace (2015). At https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination/publications/national-prevalence-survey-age-discrimination-workplace

[5] Australian Human Rights Commission, Willing to Work: Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability (2016). At https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/disability-rights/publications/willing-work-national-inquiry-employment-discrimination

[6] J Handy and D Davy, ‘Gendered ageism: Older women's experiences of employment agency practices’ (2007) 45(1) Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 85. At https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1038411107073606

[7] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Informal Carers, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/informal-carers

[8] COTA Victoria, Reach, Train, Employ, https://www.cotavic.org.au/our-programs/reach-train-employ/

[9] J Bassano, ‘Fears older Australians on Centrelink benefits may never work again’, In Daily, 2 July 2020. At https://indaily.com.au/news/2020/07/02/fears-older-australians-on-centrelink-benefits-may-never-work-again/

[10] Australian Human Rights Commission, National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability’ (Report, 2006).

[11] D Bowman, A Randrianarisoa and S Wickramasinghe, Working for everyone? Enhancing employment services for mature age job seekers (2018). At https://www.bsl.org.au/research/publications/working-for-everyone-enhancing-employment-services-for-mature-age-jobseekers/

[12] J Bassano, ‘Fears older Australians on Centrelink benefits may never work again’, In Daily, 2 July 2020. At https://indaily.com.au/news/2020/07/02/fears-older-australians-on-centrelink-benefits-may-never-work-again/

[13] K Wright, Local government research into a ‘hidden’ issue (2013) Community Planning and Development, City of Boorondara, p252.

[14] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2049.0 Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016: Key Findings (2018). At http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/2049.0 (viewed 10 May 2018).

[15] Australian Human Rights Commission, Older Women’s Risk of Homelessness: Background paper 2019). At https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination/publications/older-womens-risk-homelessness-background-paper-2019

[16] Australian Institute of Family Studies, Elder abuse: Key issues and emerging evidence, CFCA Paper No. 51 (2019). At https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/sites/default/files/publication-documents/51_elder_abuse.pdf.

[17] Council of the Ageing Australia, State of the (Older) Nation 2021 (2021). At https://www.cota.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SOTON21-Full-Report.pdf

[18] Australian Institute of Family Studies, Elder Abuse, Family Matters No. 98 (2016). At https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-98/elder-abuse

[19] Seniors Rights Victoria and National Ageing Research Institute, Seven Years of Elder Abuse data in Victoria (2020). At https://seniorsrights.org.au/seven-years-of-elder-abuse-data-in-victoria-report/  

[20] NSW Ageing and Disability Commission, Dashboard data, https://www.ageingdisabilitycommission.nsw.gov.au/tools-and-resources/dashboard-data (viewed 20 August 2021).

[21] Opal Institute, Margarita, https://www.opalinstitute.org/margarita.html

[22] Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Elder abuse in Australian aged care facilities, Media Release (21 December 2020). At https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/news-and-media/elder-abuse-australian-aged-care-facilities

[23] Magistrates Court of Tasmania, Findings and Recommendations of Coroner Olivia McTaggart following the holding of an inquest under the Coroners Act 1995 into the death of: Janet Lois Mackozdi (2009). At https://www.magistratescourt.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/440280/Mackozdi,-Janet-Lois-latest-version.pdf

[24] Seniors Rights Victoria and National Ageing Research Institute, Seven Years of Elder Abuse data in Victoria (2020). At https://seniorsrights.org.au/seven-years-of-elder-abuse-data-in-victoria-report/  

[25] National Ageing Research Institute, The Older Person’s Experience: Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse (2016). At https://seniorsrights.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SRV-NARI-Outcomes-Report-2016-FINAL-Web-6-June-2016.pdf

[26] Crimes Statistics Agency, Family Violence Database: COVID-19 Family Violence Data Portal (30 June 2020). At https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiNzAyZjJlOWUtNzExMS00NjBjLTgzMzYtNjQ2ZDIxNTFjMDQ5IiwidCI6IjcyMmVhMGJlLTNlMWMtNGIxMS1hZDZmLTk0MDFkNjg1NmUyNCJ9.

[27] Australian Law Reform Commission, Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response, ALRC Report 131 (2017). At https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/elder-abuse-a-national-legal-response-alrc-report-131/.

[28] Council of Attorneys-General, National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023 (2019). At https://www.ag.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/National-plan-to-respond-to-the-abuse-of-older-australians-elder.pdf.

[29] Australian Taxation Office, Supporting older Australians – exempting granny flat arrangements from capital gains tax, https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Direct-taxes/Income-tax-on-capital-gains/Supporting-older-Australians---exempting-granny-flat-arrangements-from-capital-gains-tax/

[30] McCrindle Research, No More Practice: Wealth Transfer Report (2017) p7. At https://www.nmpeducation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/McCrindle-No-More-Practice-Wealth-Transfer-Report-2017.pdf

[31] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Older Australians at a glance, Cat. No: AGE 87, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/health-aged-care-service-use/aged-care-assessments

[32] ABCiview, Why women are angry – Part 3: Women in the workplace, 7:30, https://iview.abc.net.au/show/7-30/series/0/video/NC2101H139S00

Dr Kay Patterson, Age Discrimination Commissioner