With the ageing of the global population, elder abuse is becoming an increasingly prominent issue. Elder abuse is a “single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person” (WHO, 2008, p1).
Data about elder abuse is not collected in a consistent manner and, like domestic violence, evidence suggests elder abuse is underreported. Research estimates that 2-6% of older people experience elder abuse in any one year (Cooper et al, 2008).
Associate Professor Dow from the Ageing and Demography team and her colleagues from the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) have been working with Seniors’ Rights Victoria and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute to better understand elder abuse, including from the perspective of older people who have experienced abuse.