About the service
If you’re over 60 (50 for First Nations People) and someone is hurting you or taking advantage of you, TASC may be able to help.
Our Seniors Legal and Support Service is funded to help older people in Toowoomba, Ipswich and Ipswich hinterland who are experiencing or at risk of elder abuse, being mistreated or being financially exploited.
Elder Abuse takes many forms and can be hard to talk to someone about, especially when it is being done by a family member.
If you are unsure, or something doesn’t feel right please talk to someone you can trust or call TASC.
This is a free, confidential service which will only act under your choice and guidance.
Types of elder abuse
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is a deliberate action, or the failure to take necessary action, which results in real or potential harm to an elder. An elder is any person over 60 years old or over 50 for First Nations people.
There are different types of elder abuse which can be physical, emotional, sexual, social, financial or neglect.
Elder abuse is often committed by someone that a person knows and trusts. It can happen when well-meaning people are overworked and overwhelmed. It can also occur when a predatory person takes advantage of an elder’s vulnerability.
Why is abuse so hard to talk about?
Abuse is never easy to talk about, and an older person may not always view some behaviour as abusive – particularly where it’s psychological.
Older people may worry about making strained relationships or situations worse, or fear changes in their care arrangements or way of life. Many people don’t know about the services and resources which can help them improve things.
“The service at TASC has changed my life. I have spoken about things that I have never told anyone before . . . .
It has affirmed my rights to be treated well. “
(TASC Seniors Legal and Support Service client, Toowoomba)
TASC’s Seniors legal and support service is free for anyone aged over 60 (50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) who live in Toowoomba, Ipswich and Ipswich hinterland.
How we help
Our lawyers and social workers will talk with you about what steps can be taken to address elder abuse including:
- Steps to stay safe
- Short-term counselling
- How to keep money and assets safe, or recover money or assets
- Legal rights and options
- In certain circumstances, representing a client in court or before a tribunal.
You can decide whether you want SLASS to take action or not and if so, what option suits you the best.
Older persons experiencing abuse may contact the service directly. Family members and service providers may contact us to refer an older person for whom they hold concerns and SLASS will then contact the older person directly.
Strategies to help avoid elder abuse
There are things you can do to help avoid elder abuse. These include:
- Plan for your future while you are well, healthy and independent
- Stay connected with family, friends and groups
- Don’t make important decisions just after a major event in your life.
- Give yourself some time and space to make good decisions – do not be rushed into making a decision
- Do not give up control of your money and assets while you are able to manage them
- Have your pension and cheques put straight into your own bank account
- Do not allow adult children to live with you without getting external advice
- Ask for help to make sure you understand legal documents before you sign them
- Know your rights. Older people have the right to live in safety, be treated with dignity and respect and make their own decisions (including the right not to do something)