Adjunct Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw, an expert in mediation at the University of South Australia, has called for more preventative measures to be put into place to protect our elderly citizens.
She says this is due to the rising incidence of the most common type of elder abuse in Australia, which is financial abuse. Professor Bagshaw says the problem will continue to get worse as the population ages over the next twenty years.
Financial abuse can manifest in many ways. One example is of children refusing to visit their elderly parents unless they are given money or assets. Other examples include bullying elderly people for money or forcing them to sell assets, including their own homes. She also warns that often several types of abuse are often present at the same time.
She says mediation can often help prevent the abuse of elders, by providing an opportunity for family members and significant others to get together to make plans or have difficult conversations in the presence of an impartial third party. The mediator ensures that the interests, rights and safety of the older person is taken into account in any decision making.
She goes on to say: “an older-person-centred mediation approach puts the safety of our older citizens first and makes sure their rights are upheld, especially when their capacity to do so for themselves might be impaired for any number of reasons.”
At Estate Battles, we can help prevent financial elder abuse or find a remedy for existing financial abuse. Time limits are often imposed under the law, so if you think someone might be at risk of being financially exploited, contact Estate Battles today.