A topic that is awful to think about and even harder to comprehend; the elderly being abused. But it is happening, it is a global issue, and New Zealand is no exception.
World Elder Abuse Awareness day is a day that aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders.
In New Zealand 1 in 10 elders, over 65, will experience elder abuse. That is as many as 70,000 people in a year, and as many as 3 out of 4 are going unreported.
‘Types’ of abuse are vast, from psychological abuse being the most common to financial, physical or even sexual abuse. More often or not, people experience more than one type of abuse and the abusers are often someone close to the victim.
It is a sickening thought to think that someone who is so trusted and so depended on for support or care, can take advantage of an elderly person’s good heart and turn them into their prey. Yet it happens, and it is the reason why such an awareness day exists.
So let us support our kaumātua. They are treasures for our society, to care for those who once cared for us is one of our highest honours, so let’s work together to support and love our eldest generation to the best of our ability.
Annah Stretton commends organisations like Age Concern for trying to raise awareness around the issue. If you feel you are a victim of elder abuse and would like someone to talk to call Age Concern Hamilton on 07 838 2266 or visit www.ageconcern.org.nz for more information.
Written by Kim Chance