World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018

Teams across Geneva Healthcare are helping to raise awareness for older people everywhere who have or are currently experiencing abuse. The theme for this year is ‘Understand & End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue’. 54% of cases seen by Age Concern New Zealand involve financial abuse. Some adult children believe they are entitled to spend their older family member’s money at their own will.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. This was in response to a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, who first started the awareness raising day in June 2006.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the theme this year is focused on encouraging people to ask for help and support.

Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive Stephanie Clare said “…that the shame or stigma [of elder abuse] means people don’t always report abuse happening within their family.”

Where to go for help and support

In July 2017, the Ministry of Social Development’s Super Seniors launched the Elder Abuse Response Service, 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK). The free national helpline provides support for older people at risk of or experiencing abuse and for people who have concerns about an older person.

For local support, see the list of Age Concern Elder Abuse Services and Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services. Also see Age Concern’s brochure, Do you have questions about the safety of an older person/Kaumātua? to find out more more about their services.

Other helplines

As part of the It’s not OK campaign, the 0800 Family Violence Information Line (0800 456 450) provides information and referrals to local services for people experiencing or using violence and for people who want to support others.

Safe to talk – He pai ki te kōrero is a national 24/7 helpline for people affected by ‘sexual harm’ and sexual violence. Contact the helpline by calling 0800 044 334, texting 4334, emailing [email protected] or webchat on

Resources for Elder Abuse Awareness Week

Super Seniors from the Ministry of Social Development has a number of resources you can order and Age Concern has resources available from their website. These resources include posters, information about services, prevention tips, wallet cards and more.

More information about elder abuse

In 2017, the World Health Organization announced findings from a study showing that elder abuse is increasing with nearly one in six people over the age of 60 experiencing some form of abuse.

Previous research published by the Ministry of Social Development has found that about one in ten older people in Aotearoa New Zealand reported some form of abuse. The Age Concern New Zealand Media Release for 2018 WEAAD includes statistics from calls for elder abuse services, finding that 76% of alleged abusers are family members.