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New elder abuse services and helpline launched

July 06, 2017 at 3:53 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

The Minister for Seniors, Maggie Barry, has announced a new Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS).

The new service includes a 24/7 free helpline, 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK). Registered nurses will provide information and support and direct callers to elder abuse service providers in their region.

Ms Barry said new contracts are in place with organisations to provide intervention services for elder abuse. This follows a tender put out by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in April. MSD's June SuperSeniors newsletter advised "There will be a social investment requirement with the emphasis on positive, measurable outcomes for victims."

Ms Barry said there will be a wider geographical spread of service providers. She also said:

“With translation services available to the free 24/7 helpline, and providers selected to ensure services are culturally responsive, the new service will be able to serve different ethnic groups, including Maori, Pasifika, Indian, Chinese and Korean communities.”

Ms Barry also announced that from 1 July 2017, nationwide education, prevention and awareness work will be run through the Office for Seniors. This has previously been carried out by community providers including Age Concern.

Sir Peter Snell is to become patron of the SuperSeniors Champions programme to help raise awareness of senior’s issues such as elder abuse and neglect, alongside 13 other champions.

For more information see the SuperSeniors website.

For a list of Elder Abuse Response Service providers see the Family Services Directory or Age Concern.

More information about elder abuse

The World Health Organization recently announced findings from a new study estimating that one in six people over the age of 60 experience some form of abuse. This is a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide.

For more information, research and statistics about elder abuse (including intimate partner violence and sexual violence), see the NZFVC story on Elder Abuse Awareness Week.

Selected media

Elder abuse services to adopt response focus, Otago Daily Times, 18.06.2017

Sir Peter Snell highlights scourge of elder abuse, NZ Herald, 15.06.2017

Sir Peter Snell to be Super Seniors Champions Patron, Press Release: New Zealand Government, 15.06.2017

New Service for Elder Abuse Response, Media release: Age Concern, June 2017

Category: Service