The right to work is a fundamental human right, but one that far too many older people in Australia do not enjoy.
Elder abuse often starts with ‘benevolent ageism’; where attitudes tip the scales towards protection and away from respect for an older person’s independence and autonomy. For example, limiting an older person’s social interactions or activities in ways that go beyond public health advice during COVID-19.
Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, has called on the federal and state and territory Attorneys-General to act urgently to implement the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) recommendations on powers of attorney at the COAG meeting on 27 July.
There are no exact figures on elder abuse in Australia. There is a study underway, but we may never know the total number of older people experiencing elder abuse in this country because it often takes place in secret and behind closed doors.
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (#WEAAD).
Elder abuse affects thousands of older Australians each year. The abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial or neglect – and social isolation is a risk factor.
If you experience, witness or suspect elder abuse, call the National Elder Abuse phone line for information, support and referrals — 1800ELDERHelp, 1800 353 374.
Together we can stop elder abuse.
As Age Discrimination Commissioner, I am always concerned when I see ageism in Australian society, whether as a direct driver of behaviour or as the indirect, unintended consequence of public discussions and policy implementation. Right now, we are seeing ever-present ageist ideas playing out in a number of ways and affecting different age cohorts as our society continues to grapple with COVID-19.
As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8, the Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson, has renewed calls for policy makers and leaders to prioritise housing security for older Australian women.
Older women are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people, with a 31% increase between 2011 and 2016.
Dr Patterson says International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate what has been achieved and contemplate what more needs to be done.
Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson earlier this month launched a national guide to making enduring powers of attorney for financial decisions.
You Decide Who Decides, funded by the Australian government, sponsored by the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council and developed by the Victorian Public Advocate, is a national resource which identifies differences between the law across the country.
Australia’s first Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell will on Monday launch her final report – one of the most comprehensive assessments of children’s rights ever produced in Australia.
The report makes clear that the mental health of Australian children is not being cared for sufficiently and that Governments must do more to ensure children’s wellbeing.
Governments across the country will tomorrow be called on to work together and take immediate action to combat elder abuse at the Council of Attorneys-General meeting in Adelaide.
Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson wants the Council to outline its plan and to include nationwide standards for powers of attorney to ensure that they are not mis-used.
“Elder abuse is a blight on our society. Older Australians do not have time on their side, they need immediate action from Governments at state and federal levels,” said Dr Patterson.