12 December 2005 By ANNA CHALMERS
Sons and daughters are responsible for 40 per cent of elderly abuse cases in New Zealand, according to a report by Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Service.
The report, which analyses 1288 cases between July 2002 and June 2004, finds that 40 per cent of abusers are the victim’s children, 15 per cent are partners and 10 per cent caregivers and community workers.
Seventy per cent of elders abused are women. Psychological abuse, 754 cases, is the most common, followed by material or financial (537 instances), physical (253), then neglect. Sexual abuse accounts for 2 per cent of cases.
Threatening tactics were most common, she said. "They (family members) do it by saying, ‘If you don’t do that, you can’t see your grandchildren’. The older person then buckles because they don’t want to sever the relationship with their family.”