Elder abuse awareness and resources

Elder abuse is everyone’s business

Everyone has the right to be safe and age with dignity.

Elder abuse can take many forms. Elder abuse is defined as any act that harms an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust, such as a family member or friend. It is often hidden.

Elder abuse can happen in any family or relationship. Sometimes family, friends and carers may not know that their actions amount to elder abuse.

The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. Elder abuse violates an older person’s basic human right to feel safe.

No older person should experience any form of abuse, mistreatment or neglect.

Seniors Rights Victoria provides free legal advice and information, as well as education and advocacy. For free, confidential information and support, please contact Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821.

If someone is in immediate danger, call the Police on 000.

To learn more about the different types of elder abuse, visit: Seniors Rights Victoria

For more information about support for family violence, see Council’s Family Violence Resources page.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is acknowledged to highlight elder abuse as one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society.

Yarnbomb for WEAAD 2022

Let’s turn Nillumbik purple for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022.

You can knit, crochet, thread, weave or create anything you like – as long as purple is the main colour. We have balls of yarn available for anyone who would like to get involved. We are accepting purple creations until 1 June – please call 9433 3345 or email positive.ageing@nillumbik.vic.gov.au to arrange collection or to request balls of yarn. 

WEAAD 2021

Council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee (PAAC) met on 4 June 2021 for their regular advisory committee meeting, and took a photo to show support of and raise awareness of elder abuse in recognition of WEAAD.

For more information about the Committee, contact the Positive Ageing Officer at positive.ageing@nillumbik.vic.gov.au or 9433 3111.

A screenshot of the Positive Ageing Advisory Committee's zoom meeting, with a heading to signify that the image was captured to acknowledge World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Seniors Rights Victoria hosts an annual campaign for WEAAD, called ‘Stir a cuppa for seniors,' to encourage individuals, families and communities to have conversations about challenging ageism by celebrating the positive contributions of older people in our communities. 

Here’s what Nillumbik Shire Councillors revealed, when asked what ageing means to them.

Mayor Cr Peter Perkins, Ellis Ward

"Personally, the concept of ageing causes me to reflect that my days are numbered and I have fewer years ahead of me than behind. I have lived a relatively good life in good health, which I would like to maintain into the future. Making every day count becomes more important as I grow older.”

Cr Frances Eyre, Swipers Gully Ward

“Ageing to me is about a good quality of life, and that differs for each person. For me, it’s about being independent and being empowered to make my own decisions. Being able to stay at home as long as possible and supporting carers (through respite, training, connections with others) to support loved ones to age in place.  

Ageing means being respectful to life experiences, personal wishes (well within reason) and having the best quality of life that is possible. Being connected to a club or community group is important as it keeps your mind active and it reduces loneliness and isolation. As we age we can sometimes forget to have fun. 

To achieve this, we need passionate family and supporters; and caring, well-trained workers in the industry, who care and want what’s best for our elders.

I love being part of the Positive Ageing Advisory Committee, as I feel that I am surrounded by knowledgeable elders from our community. I learn new things all the time from them – they want to pave the way themselves and to make the community a better place for our ageing residents.”

Cr Natalie Duffy, Edendale Ward

“Ageing is all about living. To age is to live. To age is to have experiences and be able to value the lessons along the way. My kids are now taller than me and my mother is now shorter than me. My wish for everyone as they age is for a sense of self, satisfaction and serenity.”

Cr Richard Stockman, Blue Lake Ward

“Age, experience, wisdom are absolutely everything to me. Not only should our elders receive our utmost respect – in many cases as we age we reach higher levels of vulnerability and require extra sensitivity, and often extra care."

Cr Karen Egan, Bunjil Ward

"So many different things. I think of my amazing mum ageing in her own home, and I know one day there will be a time when she can’t manage, but at 85 she’s OK at the moment. 

Then I think of all my residents who are elderly, and all those who are isolated and want to age in place, but can’t because of our planning laws, which make this impossible in many cases. I worry about all those with no support or families to check up on them. 

Then I think ﹘ I’m on my way to the very same thing! In fact we all are, and there are more of us getting older and older in the region. There will be more and more demands on services for the elderly in the future as we all live longer and longer. My great aunt just turned 107. She’s just lost her eyesight but well apart from that, so if genes have anything to do with it, I’ll be here for a while."

Cr Geoff Paine, Wingrove Ward

“Certainly less hair, hopefully more wisdom. I said hopefully.”

Cr Ben Ramcharan, Sugarloaf Ward

“As we age, we go through numerous stages in our lives, from childhood to adolescence to graduating from school, to getting a job. It’s scary how the time goes past. No matter what stage a person is at in their life, it’s important that we take care of them and treat them as a valued part of society.  

Different age groups have different needs and being 25 years old, I’m very aware of the needs that young people have and I’m also aware of the needs I will have going forward as I pass through future stages of my life. 

As people grow older, it is important to support them to age in place and to get the most out of whatever stage of life they may be in.” 

Campaign poster for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, with a photo of two elderly people holding cups of tea.