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Research Summary
Report cover

Elder abuse in Australia: psychological abuse

Findings from the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study
Psychosocial safety Older people Abuse (People) Elder abuse Neglect (People) Family violence Victims of family violence Australia

As part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Council of Attorneys‑General, 2019), the Attorney-General’s Department commissioned the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study (NEAPS) to investigate elder abuse. This snapshot provides the key findings of the Survey of Older People (2020), a nationally representative survey of 7,000 people aged 65 and over living in the community (i.e. they did not live in residential aged care settings). The full report on the NEAPS is available here >

How common is psychological abuse?

The Survey of Older People indicated that 12% of community-dwelling people aged 65 and older in Australia reported experiencing psychological abuse in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Of participants who experienced psychological abuse in the past 12 months: the most common forms of psychological abuse experienced involved being: — insulted, called names or sworn at in a way they found offensive or aggressive (49%) — excluded or repeatedly ignored (46%) — undermined or belittled (46%). ƒ

Close to one-half (46%) reported experiencing other behaviours that caused them emotional distress (e.g. manipulated them, prevented their access to equipment such as hearing aids).

Related Information

National elder abuse prevalence study: final report https://apo.org.au/node/315734

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