Brisbane’s City Hall will be bathed in purple today (15 June) to shine a light on elder abuse as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The iconic building will be lit up at dusk during an afternoon seniors information expo (3pm-6pm) hosted by the Palaszczuk Government in King George Square, featuring stalls from key service providers and community groups.
Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said elder abuse was a form of domestic abuse that was often more difficult to recognise.
“Elder abuse is one of the most important challenges facing us as a community yet it can be very hard to spot,” she said.
“People experiencing abuse may be reluctant to tell their family or friends about it and often a change in the person’s behaviour may be the only indicator that something is wrong.
“This year our ‘Trust your Instinct’ campaign has been highly successful in raising awareness of the signs of domestic and family violence, and now we are turning our attention to elder abuse.
“The Queensland Government is providing more than $490,000 this financial year to support the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, which responds to issues including financial and psychological elder abuse.
“Last financial year alone, the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit responded to 1221 phone calls and emails relating to 1530 cases of abuse, up almost 20 per cent from the previous year.
“We also fund five seniors legal and support services throughout Queensland, to assist older people who are at risk of experiencing elder abuse or financial exploitation.
“You don’t need to see abuse to believe it — that’s why we continue to encourage Queenslanders to trust their instinct and report any suspected elder abuse.”
Elder Abuse Prevention Unit Coordinator Les Jackson said it was important for older people in Queensland to stay connected with their communities, and for communities to be inclusive of them.
“Older people who feel supported by the people around them, connected to their communities, and socially engaged are less likely to experience ongoing elder abuse,” Mr Jackson said.
“They are also more likely to seek professional support services,” he said.
To report abuse, call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 651 192 (Queensland only) or 07 3867 2525 (rest of Australia), Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke
15th of June 2015