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Age Discrimination

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. 


Ageism and COVID-19

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.

Older women facing homelessness on the rise

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.

Age Discrimination in Employment

Image of tradie

The right to work is a fundamental human right, but one that far too many older people in Australia do not enjoy.