Protection from Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse, and what can be done about preventing it?

Elder abuse is the exploitation or neglect of an older person that occurs within a relationship in which there is an expectation of trust.

Sadly it is becoming increasingly more frequent. Usually the abuser is a child or grandchild of the abused elderly person.
Financial abuse is one of the most common forms of elder abuse. It can take a number of forms, such as prevailing on an elderly person to:

  • Provide money from a bank account or savings;
  • Transfer assets or property, including the elderly person’s own home;
  • Provide a home or other asset as security for borrowing by the abusive party;
  • Provide personal guarantees for business or personal borrowings;
  • Allow access to bank accounts to use as the other person wishes.

One significant issue is the misuse of enduring powers of attorney. Enduring powers of attorney (EPOAs) are important tools that allow older people to choose the person (or persons) who will make decisions on their behalf should they lose decision-making ability in the future. They may also protect an older person with impaired decision-making ability from being exploited and abused by others. However, it is clear that they are capable of being misused, often with devastating consequences for the elderly person.

Tackling Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse can be subtle, and difficult to pick up. Often the abused elderly person is embarrassed, and unwilling to complain. The abusers often rationalise themselves into thinking that they are simply getting the inheritance, or entitlements early.

Once Elder Abuse is suspected there are arrangements, both legal, and practical, that can be put in place to protect the elder from further exploitation and to provide them with the safety and security to which they are entitled.

Sunshine Coast Elder Law are experts in putting in place arrangements to protect Elderly persons from being taken advantage of. If you or someone you love is being subjected to Elder Abuse contact us and we will do what we can to help.

Find out more

Want further advice on Elder Abuse? Don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling or completing an enquiry form.