Information for Workers

Identifying and responding to elder abuse

The Queensland Government has a good webpage dedicated to providing guidance to health professionals who may identify elder abuse. View it here:

The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit has developed a tool to assist workers to identify secondary abuse types when presented with an elder abuse situation. The tool provides information about abusive behaviours that may be associated with an increased likelihood of a co-occurring abuse type(s).   

Commonly Co-Occurring Abuse Types - Elder Abuse

(Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, UnitingCare)

Working with an Attorney

Staff who work alongside an older person where there is an attorney/ a genuine concern for the person’s decision-making ability may find the series of flowcharts in the resource below, helpful. The 2nd flowchart (p.4) outlines the basic steps of interpreting an Enduring Power of Attorney, to ensure its use is appropriate, how it should be used and for what matters. The 3rd flowchart (p.4) outlines how to respond to an attorney(s) actions when they are not consistent with the duties and responsibilities of the role. 

Serious Incident Response Scheme (aged care)

Aged care staff can refer to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website to find out more about the Serious Incident Response Scheme and requirements for reporting/ managing incidents within the context of aged care. You might also find the SIRS Decision Support Tool useful to help determine whether an incident is considered Priority 1 or 2. 

Serious Incident Response Scheme

(Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission)

SIRS Decision Support Tool

(Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission)

Elder abuse data and statistics

The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit produces exhaustive statistics on elder abuse occurring within QLD within its annual Year in Review report. Alternatively, in 2021 the Australian Institute of Family Studies conducted a national prevalence study of elder abuse occurring across Australia. 

National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study: Final Report

(Australian Institute of Family Studies)

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit