Auckland Elder Abuse Response Service is a collective of Age Concern Counties Manukau, Age Concern Auckland, Age Concern North Shore, Vaka Tautua and Shanti Niwas. Together we cover the Auckland region, working collaboratively to assist older people who have been referred to our service. Please read the table below for details of the provider in your suburb, or the appropriate regional cultural and linguistic service.
The Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) aims to improve the quality of life of older people in abusive situations and to prevent abuse by providing information, education programmes, advocacy and support.
If your are concerned about elder abuse, whether you are an older person yourself, a family member, friend, neighbor or professional, you can contact our Elder Abuse Responsive Service team for free and confidential advice.
Our qualified EARS Social Workers have a wide knowledge of the needs of older people and their carers and they work closely with relevant organisations. They are available to talk with groups to help promote public awareness. Seminars and presentations on elder abuse and neglect prevention can also be arranged.
For Age Concern Auckland referrals (Central and West), English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean, contact us via the details below, or submit a referral online here.
What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?
Behaviour or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship of trust, which causes harm and/ or distress to an older person.
The older person and the abuser are generally people who know each other. Statistics from services in New Zealand show that the majority of abusers are members of the older person's family (partners, sons, daughters, in laws, siblings, grandchildren). Other abusers include people employed in positions of trust - residential facility staff or paid carers.
What are the warning signs?
The following signs MAY indicate an older person is being abused:
unexplained behaviour, sleeping or eating habits
withdrawal and/or edginess
fear of a particular person
drowsiness (due to over-medication)
recoiling from touch
unusual withdrawals from bank accounts
unpaid bills, lack of money for necessities.
Elder Abuse can mean
Infliction of pain, injury or use of force. For example: hitting, pushing, rough handling, over-medication, inappropriate use of restraints or confinement.
Behaviour causing mental anguish, stress or fear. For example: ridicule or threats, harassment or humiliation, preventing choice or decision-making, withholding affection.
Illegal or improper use of money, property or other assets. For example: unauthorised taking of money or possessions, misuse of power of attorney, failure to repay loans, use of home and/or utilities without contributing to costs, scams that rely on establishing a relationship with the older person with the intention of exploiting their savings and/or assets, e.g. romance scams.
Not providing for physical, emotional or social needs. For example: inadequate food, clothing, shelter, lack of social contact, support, health needs not attended to.
Non-consensual sexual acts or exploitive behaviours. For example: inappropriate touching, sexual acts with someone unable to give consent.
A policy or accepted practice within an organisation that disregards a person’s rights or causes harm. For example: lack of respect for a person’s culture or customs, inappropriate rationing of continence products, inflexible routines e.g. breakfast at 8 am in the dining room.
These videos have been provided by Age Concern New Zealand, experts on elder abuse and neglect prevention. Please contact any of the above organisations for more information.
Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention coordinator Marie Bennett speaks about her experiences dealing with cases of physical abuse.
Louise Collins, Age Concern National Advisor for Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services speaks about her experiences in dealing with psychological abuse
Bronwyn Groot from BNZ talks about financial abuse