Elder abuse in Tasmania under spotlight

The Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania and Advocacy Tasmania have joined forces to combat elder abuse within the community.

The two organisations on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding which formalised an agreement to liaise each other on the issue to provide information, support, advocacy, legal assistance, and referral to other services.

The Legal Aid Commission has appointed Sarah Campbell to co-ordinate the new service, helped by six lawyers.

The commission’s chairman chair Patrick Lunn said elder abuse emerged in different forms: emotional, physical, financial, social or sexual.

“Sadly, the mistreatment of an older person is often committed by someone with whom the older person has a relationship of trust such as a partner, family member, friend or carer,” he said.

“Sometimes family, friends and carers may not know that their actions amount to elder abuse.”

Advocacy Tasmania president Meg Webb said the alliance would enable the organisation to offer legal advice while Legal Aid will be able to refer clients to them for information and advocacy.

Advocacy Tasmania operates an elder abuse hotline which can be reached by calling 1800 441169 or by emailing  eahelpline@advocacytasmania.org.au.