Walk against elder abuse

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

SHOW YOU CARE – Organisers hope to build on the success of last year’s walk, with people taking to the streets in Hobart and Launceston on June 15.

AS many as 10 per cent of Tasmania’s seniors are abused through bullying, neglect or fraud, often by their adult children.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 will highlight this sobering fact to the wider community.

Representatives of seniors’ organisations, politicians and community members will take their anti-abuse message to the streets with walks in Hobart and Launceston organised by COTA Tasmania on the day.

Elder abuse can involve physical, psychological or sexual abuse, taking money, neglect, threats or denying social contacts. It can be perpetrated by an adult child or someone the person trusts.

“The risk factors are the same across the world,” said COTA Tasmania chief execu­tive Sue Leitch.

“We need to be aware that it can happen and be open to the fact it can happen in families.”

Elder abuse can be more acute when families are in financial stress.

“Intergenerational financial stress is more likely to be seen here, particularly during the current housing crisis in Tasmania,” Ms Leitch said.

Earlier this year at the Council of Australian Governments meeting, the state government agreed to work with other states on a national plan to combat elder abuse.

The Hobart Walk Against Elder Abuse begins at the Westella Building in Elizabeth Street at 2pm on June 15. It will be led by Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner.

“There will be a short discussion on older people and nutrition afterwards,” Ms Leitch said.

“Nutrition can be a component of neglect, with older people not having adequate nutrition.”

The Launceston walk will begin at City Park at 10am. It will be led by mayor Albert van Zetten and COTA president Philippa Watts.

Register for the walks with COTA Tasmania on 6231-3265 or email

If you, or someone you know, is being abused, contact the elder abuse helpline in your state:

  • WA Elder Abuse Helpline, 1300-724-679
  • NSW Elder Abuse Helpline, 1800-628-221
  • Queensland Elder Abuse Helpline, 1300-651-192
  • South Australia Elder Abuse Prevention Line, 1800-372-310
  • Northern Territory Council on the Ageing (COTA) Elder Abuse Information Line,1800-037-072
  • ACT Older Persons Abuse Prevention Referral and Information Service, (02) 6205-353 
  • Tasmanian Elder Abuse Hotline, 1800-441-169 
  • Senior Rights Victoria, 1300-368-821 

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