Elder abuse

Elder abuse is often hidden and those who experience the abuse are frequently afraid to talk about it. We need to grow our understanding of this very challenging topic.

For information to identify, help prevent, and report elder abuse and neglect visit the Super Seniors section on elder abuse and neglect.

Research on Elder Abuse in New Zealand

New research draws on data gathered through the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NZLSA). The results provide an insight into the experiences of participants regarding many different aspects of their lives. It identifies aspects of elder abuse, along with other health and wellbeing impacts, including experiencing loneliness and depression.

Around one in ten older people did report some form of abuse (most closely linked to vulnerability and coercion).

The Office for Seniors has produced a summary report of the research, 'Towards gaining a greater understanding of elder abuse in New Zealand.'

This can be read alongside the full technical report undertaken by NZLSA.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is on 15 June each year.

The Office for Seniors produces resources to help New Zealand individuals and organisations mark this day and help prevent elder abuse.

Check back here closer to the day if you would like to access these resources.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a United Nations Day.

The United Nations says that the global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Around 4 to 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. Elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. The incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.