Wesley Community Action runs the Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) for people aged 65 and over living in the greater Wellington region (Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti Coast and the Hutt Valley).
Te Waka Haumaru, our older persons team, provides support, information and advocacy, and works with elders and their whānau to create sustainable safety.
This support may include:
Anyone who is 65 or older and living in the greater Wellington area can seek help from our EARS team.
An older person can contact the team themselves, or a family member, friend, neighbour or health professional can do it on their behalf.
In an emergency call 111.
Elder abuse is a crime. Any act that causes harm to an older person is elder abuse, including:
Most elder abuse is carried out by someone known to the older person – often a family member.
In many cases they are dependent on that person for their care, or for emotional support and friendship.
This can make them very reluctant to come forward about the abuse. They may delay telling anyone what is happening until the situation gets critical.
Most older people are loved and cared for by their families. However, about one in ten will experience some kind of abuse.
Older people who are dependent on someone else for their care are particularly vulnerable to being abused. Other factors that put an older person at risk of abuse include:
Elder abuse is more likely to happen in families already experiencing conflict. It is also more common in families with a history of family violence, or where there are drug or alcohol problems.
In some cases, elder abuse happens because the older person and their family do not understand the rights and responsibilities involved in formal legal roles, such as enduring power of attorney.