Elder abuse helpline

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.

Older Asian lady with glasses

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the police on triple zero (000). Do not attempt to intervene in a situation where physical violence may be occurring, as this may put you and others at risk.

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:

Having the right to safety, dignity, independence and respect.

Making the choice to be informed, to seek support, information and advice, to take up the protection of the law.

Looking after your older self by planning ahead realistically and with clarity, for future protection if/when capacity is impaired.

The practicality of who can be trusted to be a future decision maker for finances, personal and health decisions, and the reality that it may not be a family member.

Being presumed to have decision-making capacity for a matter unless medical evidence indicates otherwise.

Making choices that may be risky and challenging for others to accept.

Having the right to do nothing and take no action.

Whether or not fiercely independent older people can or should make and accept change, and the question of independence versus safety.

Having the right to say no, to put boundaries in place, and to draw on parental authority to do so.

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

Can callers to the Helpline remain anonymous?

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.

Do callers need proof or evidence of abuse?

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.

How long can callers talk to the Helpline?

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.

Is there an intake process for the Helpline?

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. 

Can callers phone back again to the Helpline?

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.

Helplines in other states

The National Elder Abuse phone line – 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) – will direct you to the helpline in your state or territory, but we have also listed the individual helplines below.

1800 353 374 and (02) 6243 3436

(Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.00pm)

Operated by Older Persons ACT Legal Service

1800 628 221

(Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.00pm)

Operated by the Ageing & Disability Commission

1800 372 310

(Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm)

Operated by Office for Ageing Well, SA Health

1800 999 900

(Mon-Fri 8.00am-8.00pm)

Operated by Territory Faces 

1800 441 169

(Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm)

Operated by Advocacy Tasmania Inc.

1300 368 821

(Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm)

Operated by Seniors Rights Victoria 

1300 724 679

(Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm)

Operated by Advocare Inc.