Holiday pinch no excuse for elder abuse

  • Jo Goodhew
Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens Minister Jo Goodhew says it’s not OK to pressure older family members into giving or lending money to cope with holiday season costs.

“Abuse isn’t just physical, or emotional. We need to be aware of financial abuse, and we need to be aware that family members are often the abusers,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“While many older New Zealanders are happy to help their family members financially, they should never be pressured to hand over money or assets. It’s OK to say ‘no’.

“Older people are entitled to make their own decisions, feel safe and live free of fear. They have the right to dignity and care in a supportive environment.

“We must all encourage people to speak out if they are aware of someone who is helping him or herself to an older person’s superannuation or selling their assets for their own financial gain. Preventing elder abuse is everyone’s responsibility.

“Age Concern New Zealand provides support and information to counter elder abuse and neglect. This is very important work to ensure older people are treasured and valued by their family, communities and New Zealand.

“When a family values and supports all of its members, elder abuse and neglect will not take hold. It is only by working together that we will be able to stop abuse and neglect of our older people,” says Mrs Goodhew.