Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Response Services

Everybody has the right to feel safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to make their own decisions. Some older people are denied these rights, often by the people who are closest to them.

ECLC’s Elder Abuse Response Services, ROSE (Rights of Seniors in the East) and ELSA (Engaging & Living Safely & Autonomously), provide free and confidential legal advice and assistance to older people experiencing or at risk of elder abuse. ROSE, a partnership with Oonah Belonging Place, provides assistance to older people across the eastern metropolitan region while ELSA, a partnership with Eastern Health, is dedicated to supporting older people receiving care at Eastern Health.

Elder abuse often occurs in complex and highly distressing circumstances. The abuse can be financial, psychological, emotional, physical or sexual. It can also involve deliberate social isolation or neglect.

ECLC identifies the key legal, financial and social challenges faced by an older person and provides them with options for addressing the abuse and improving their safety and well being.

ECLC helps older people with abuse concerns on matters such as:

  • Family Violence
  • Breach and revocation of Powers of Attorney
  • Guardianship
  • Grand parenting rights
  • Guarantor issues
  • Access to welfare
  • Theft
  • Misappropriation of funds or property
  • Infringements
  • Undue influence
  • Support at VCAT and VOCAT hearings
  • Wills – contesting only.

ECLC also provides assistance and referrals for broader issues such as housing, health and aged care, and financial assistance.

If you require support or advice in relation to elder abuse, please phone ECLC on 9762 6235 or 0429 697 960.

Eastern Elder Abuse Network

ECLC convenes the Eastern Elder Abuse Network, which brings together over 100 professional members from a broad range of services including:

  • Hospitals and health services
  • Local government
  • Aged care
  • Family violence
  • Government services
  • Law
  • Police
  • Homelessness

ECLC and the EEAN have developed the Elder Abuse Case Conferencing Site to facilitate cross-agency collaboration and encourage better coordination of services. The innovative system allows agencies to share de-identified cases with other services and provides instant access to support, advice and referral for clients who are experiencing or at risk of elder abuse.

To express interest in joining the Eastern Elder Abuse Network, please contact ECLC.

Information for GPs

ECLC’s Behind the Curtain video raises awareness of elder abuse among GPs in the Eastern Metropolitan Region and provides medical professionals and their patients with information and links to support services.

ECLC launched Behind the Curtain in 2015. The video is funded by Melbourne East GP Network.

Further information for GPs:

  • Search “elder abuse” on the Health.Vic website to locate a range of resources for health professionals produced by the Victorian Government.
  • See Chapter 10 of the RACGP White Book which provides information about identifying and responding to elder abuse, as well as information on who is best to contact once suspicion of abuse is confirmed.
  • Visit the comprehensive Elder Abuse section of HealthPathways Melbourne, using your allocated log-in and password details. If you don’t have login details, email info@healthpathwaysmelbourne.org.au to obtain them.
  • Seniors On Line provides written information, including help sheets and a safety plan for older Victorians.

Patient Support

Community Education

ECLC delivers Matter of Trust workshops to culturally and linguistically diverse communities across the EMR. Each workshop is designed and delivered in collaboration with cultural advisors from key partner organisations, particularly from the Indian, Greek and Chinese communities.

Participants engage in a group story-building activity, creating fictional narratives that explore situations where a person may be at risk financial elder abuse, such as:

  • Agreeing to act as a guarantor for family members’ loans/debts
  • Selling assets to live with adult children and their families
  • Lack of financial independence for older people sponsored by their children to live in Australia

Representatives from key Community Services attend workshops to provide information in response to the group story, which illustrates the collaborative approach required to address elder abuse.

If you would like to arrange a workshop for your community group or participate as a Community Service, please contact ECLC.

Law Reform

ECLC advocates on issues affecting older people by calling for significant and urgent law reform.

To access submissions, please visit the Law Reform & Policy page.


Elder Abuse – No Longer Behind the Curtain – a resource about ECLC’s Elder Abuse Program

Elder Abuse Toolkit – a resource for anyone working with older, at-risk people

Elder Abuse: It’s a No Ball’ – video featuring legendary sportsperson Max Walker

‘Behind the Curtain’ – video resource for GPs and health professionals

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – video by Yarra Ranges Council and The Patch Primary School

Page updated February 21, 2020
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