Dementia Australia calls for people living with dementia to be a focus this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Friday 14 June 2019

Dementia Australia is calling for people living with dementia to be a focus of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June. 

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says that elder abuse is a serious issue that impacts the wellbeing of a large number of older Australians, especially those who are living with dementia. 

“Based on international indicators, it is likely that between two per cent and 14 per cent of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, with the prevalence of neglect possibly higher,” Ms McCabe said. 

Elder abuse is any act, including lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect. 

“People living with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment have a heightened risk of abuse as they may find it difficult to comprehend, recall, or report their abuse. We know it can take many forms and be perpetuated by family members, formal or informal carers,” Ms McCabe said.

“While the issue of elder abuse has risen in profile, largely thanks to the statements about abuse by some witnesses appearing before the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, momentum for change cannot be lost. Improved levels of training, education and support for people working with or caring for someone living with dementia is needed to minimise the risk of abuse.”

Dementia Australia provides a range of education and services to help people working with or caring for people living with dementia, to enhance the quality of life of the person living with dementia and the carer and reduce the potential for abuse. For more information please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.


Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 447,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500

Interpreter service available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area
Media contacts: Sarah Richards, Media & Communications Advisor, 0448 341 628, / Fiona Wade, Media & Communications Manager, 0407 019 430,
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.