Thousands call NSW abuse helpline

NSW Ageing and Disability Commission hits ground running with abuse reports

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Neglect, psychological and financial abuse reports flood NSW abuse helpline.

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MORE than 10,000 calls have been made to the NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline since its establishment last year.

Those calls have resulted in the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission handling more than 3800 matters, of which almost two-thirds related to the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people and adults with a disability.

The commission, led by Robert Fitzgerald, was established to improve oversight, strengthen safeguards, and fill a gap not addressed by existing complaint and investigative bodies.

"Commissioner Fitzgerald and his team have hit the ground running, working hard to not only inform and educate the community, but to respond swiftly to allegations of wrongdoing," said Minister for Families, communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward.

The most commonly reported allegations for older people were psychological and financial abuse, while for people with disability, the most common allegations related to psychological abuse and neglect.

The commission also plays a pivotal role educating the community and raising awareness. It has conducted 65 community engagement sessions and reached about 200,000 frontline workers, service providers and volunteers.

"The message from the NSW Government is loud and clear: the physical, emotional and financial abuse and neglect of older persons must stop," said acting Seniors Minister Geoff Lee.

Commissioner Fitzgerald said the collective effort from government, the social services sector and the community has been encouraging.

"Everyone has the right to live free from abuse and we all have a role to play in making that happen," he said.

Anyone who suspects an older person or an adult with a disability is being abused, neglected or exploited in their family, home or the community, should contact the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800-628-221.

More about the commission HERE

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