Elder abuse is a serious problem in Australia. It is an issue that needs policy attention, especially because of our ageing population. ABS population projections indicate that over the next 25 years the number of older people (aged over 65 years) will double to around 9 million Australians.
As part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (National Plan, Council of Attorneys General, 2019), the Attorney-General's Department commissioned the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study (NEAPS) to investigate elder abuse. This is the first national survey and the most extensive study into elder abuse in Australia.
This report summarises the findings of the Survey of Older People (SOP), a nationally representative survey of 7,000 people aged 65 and over living in community dwellings. The fieldwork was conducted from 12 February to 1 May 2020. The survey investigated the prevalence and nature of elder abuse, who is most likely to experience abuse, who commits abuse, and how people respond to abuse. There are some groups this study does not cover, such as people in residential care settings and people with cognitive impairment. Further research is needed on elder abuse among these groups.