Thursday, 3 June 2021
Statements by Members
The royal commission into aged care revealed some horrendous stories of the mistreatment, neglect and abuse which some older Australians in care had suffered. That we need to take steps to prevent this is beyond any question whatsoever. However, our awareness and understanding of the extent and scope of elder abuse more generally in society is still not as strong as it should be, and it is for this reason that 15 June every year is designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse can take various forms, ranging from physical and sexual assault to neglect and psychological and financial mistreatment, and it is estimated to affect one in 20 older people in Western Australia. Sadly, the reality is that elder abuse is not solely perpetrated by strangers. It can be done by those closest. And, when it takes the form of financial or emotional abuse, it can be insidious and not always easily identifiable.
In 2019, all Australian governments endorsed the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians, and this government fully supports and is driving the work which is being done to implement this report. But stopping elder abuse is only going to happen when we all accept responsibility for it—responsibility for understanding it, for recognising it and for taking appropriate steps to stop it. So, this 15 June, let's renew our commitment to ensuring that all Australians can live their lives to the fullest. (Time expired)