What is the Elder Abuse Helpline?
Our confidential Elder Abuse Helpline (1300 651 192) is a contact point for anyone who experiences, witnesses or suspects that an older person is being abused by someone they know and trust, usually a family member.
The Elder Abuse Helpline is a source of information, support, and referral about elder abuse, and about protecting the rights, dignity and independence of older people.
What happens when you call the Helpline?
Dealing with elder abuse can be a confusing, painful, distressing and sometimes overwhelming time for older people, families and anyone who witnesses it. The contexts in which elder abuse occurs are often complex and multilayered.
When you call the Elder Abuse Helpline, we can talk through your concerns in a safe, confidential conversation that can help you assess risk, examine relationship dynamics, seek pathways and options, ask questions and find out about support services. We take the time to listen and understand your situation and offer a safe, respectful space to talk.
We specialise in topics such as:
We also welcome calls from service providers, GPs, specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, other allied health teams and police officers. We provide a sounding board and support for professionals and front-line workers in the difficult, complex areas of duty of care and rights v safety.
Everyone can call our Helpline, and we invite you to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you may choose to remain anonymous or use your first name only. Our Helpline is confidential and we do not record your call or keep files or case notes. If you are unsure that your concerns are warranted or if you are an older person who does not wish to take action, please feel free to discuss your concerns openly, without fear of disclosure.
No, proof or evidence isn’t needed to seek information, support and referrals from our Helpline. We will talk with you to decide whether the signs or behaviour you’re concerned about are indicators that elder abuse is occurring.
It is far better to trust your instincts and make the call than to wait for proof and risk letting the abuse continue. Elder abuse is so often hidden or downplayed because of the stigma attached, and proof may never emerge.
Remember, you can ring us anonymously and the calls are confidential.
Our Helpline calls are not time restricted. There is no need to think and speak quickly or to finish within a limited time. We encourage you to take your time to fully discuss what’s happening at length.
The Elder Abuse Helpline has no intake process. However, if you are calling after hours, or the phone line is busy, you can leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. Please speak clearly, repeat your phone number and let us know if there are any restrictions on when we should ring you back.
We understand that you might need additional support as you deal with a difficult, stressful issue and encourage you to call back if you need further information, support or referrals. We will try to transfer your call to the original staff member. However, most people do not call more than once or twice.