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Age Discrimination

Elder abuse

Elderly lady looking out a window
Elder abuse can take various forms, including: financial, physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, or neglect. No older person should be subjected to any form of abuse.

Ageism and countering the effects of COVID-19 on Older Australians at work

Speech by Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson.

I would like to thank the Diversity Council of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Annese, for inviting me to speak and for introducing me today.

Australian businesses still reluctant to recruit older workers

New research published by the Australian HR Institute, together with the Commission, shows almost half of Australian businesses say they are reluctant to recruit older workers.

The report, Employing and Retaining Older Workers, surveyed 604 human resources professionals and business leaders. 

46.7 per cent of respondents said their organisation would be reluctant to recruit workers over a certain age, although the specific age barrier varied among respondents.

Statement on the Aged Care Royal Commission report

The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the publication of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Formal family agreements will protect older people

Age Discrimination Commissioner the Hon. Dr Kay Patterson AO has welcomed today’s announcement that the Federal Government is removing a disincentive for older people to put in place formal ‘family agreements’.

Commission launches elder abuse awareness campaign

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched an elder abuse awareness campaign on the International Day of Older Persons (1 October 2020).

The campaign includes a hard-hitting video that reveals the ‘red flag phrases’ that can often indicate an older person is experiencing elder abuse.

Pre-COVID-19, the Australian Institute of Family Studies said it was likely that between 2% and 14% of older Australians were experiencing elder abuse in any given year, with financial abuse the most prevalent form.

Financial elder abuse and enduring documents

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.

Urgent call to harmonise powers of attorney

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.

We can all help end elder abuse

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.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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. 

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