The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit (EAPU) promotes the right of older people to live free from abuse.
EAPU was established in 1997 following the release of "A Report of the Project on Abuse of Older People" (1994) commissioned by the then Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs. The unit is funded by the Department of Communities to provide a state-wide service to respond to the abuse of older people in Queensland and operates under UnitingCare Community.
The goals of the EAPU are to enhance the quality of life and safety of older people in Queensland by ensuring that:
- Older people are aware of how to prevent elder abuse
- Older people who are abused have access to information and assistance
- Older people have access to services with fully developed inter-agency networks providing a coordinated response
- Staff in community organisations providing services to older people have the knowledge and skills to assist them
- Current and proposed legislation address the issue of elder abuse
- Older people and organisations are empowered by having access to decision-making processes.
The EAPU responds to abuse that occurs within a relationship of trust. The types of abuse can include physical, sexual, financial, psychological (emotional or verbal), social and or neglect (intentional and unintentional). Criminal acts by a stranger, self-neglect, or where abuse occurs within a paid service arrangement are not generally considered to be within the scope of this service.
Staff and Resources
EAPU Project Officers provide a flexible service delivery model via travel throughout Queensland. Resources may include training manuals, brochures, Helpline cards, and Information Sheets. The EAPU website also provides a range of information and links to other relevant sites. EAPU have a number of reference groups around the state who guide and inform the work of the unit. Material developed by the unit strives to be inclusive of Indigenous and linguistically diverse communities. EAPU provides brochures in 14 different languages.