In the Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse, the WHO described 'elder abuse' as follows:.
"Elder abuse can be defined as 'a single, or repeated act, or 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."
There are several elements in this definition of elder abuse: the type of act or omission; the element of harm or distress; the question of intention; the person who is the 'abuser' - the kind of relationship involved; and the target of the abuse, namely an 'older person'. Further questions include the relationship between elder abuse and family violence and the dynamics within particular contexts.
Types of abuse include:
- financial abuse;
- psychological abuse (including social abuse);
- physical abuse or neglect;
- sexual abuse (including non-physical actions such as obscene language); and
- chemical abuse (including inappropriate use, underuse or overuse, of prescribed medication).
The WHO definition concerns â€˜harm or distressâ€™ to an older person. Harm may be defined by virtue of certain conduct being considered wrongfulâ€”such as fraud or physical abuse.
Harm may also be seen where the relevant conduct is directed towards personal benefit after the older personâ€™s death. Forcing or coercing changes to a will, for example, is included in some lists as financial abuse.
- Guardianship Act 1987
- Guardianship Regulation 2010
- Mental Health Act 2007
- Mental Health Regulation 2013
- Powers Of Attorney Act 2003
- Powers of Attorney Regulation 2011
- Property (Relationships) Act 1984
- Property (Relationships) Regulation 2005
- Real Property Act 1900
- Real Property Regulation 2014
- Status Of Children Act 1996
- Status of Children Regulation 2013
- Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993
- Trustee Act 1925
- Trustee Regulation 2005
- NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009
- NSW Trustee and Guardian Regulation 2008
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