Minister for Seniors reveals new elder abuse campaign

15 June 2018.

Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin has revealed a new campaign to raise awareness about elder abuse.  Over the last two weeks 'undercover crosswords' highlighting elder abuse have been placed in daily and community newspapers throughout New Zealand, to reach people most at risk.

Each crossword included a question describing a form of elder abuse. For all, “abuse” was the answer and a message underneath encouraged people concerned about elder abuse to call the helpline (0800 32 668 65).

Minister Martin said the crosswords helped reach people most at risk, as well as a means to get information about elder abuse to the wider public.

"These undercover crosswords are a safe way to educate the elderly on what constitutes abuse and empower them to get help, even if their abuser is close by. Through the crosswords, we expect our message will reach more than half of all people over 65 in New Zealand, many who may not be aware they are being abused or don’t know where to turn to for help”.

Ministry of Social Development data shows that elder abuse is not isolated to physical abuse. Of reported cases, 79% were psychological and more than half were financial. The Minister says New Zealanders need more information about how wide-ranging elder abuse is and how to spot potential signs of abuse.

“Abuse is often hidden, with abusers most commonly being family members, friends or even neighbors. Financial abuse in particular can be really broad, it could be a caregiver stealing from a grandparent’s purse or even a daughter pressuring her elderly mother to giveaway property,” says Minister Martin.

if you are concerned about elder abuse call 0800 EA NOT OK (0800 32 668 65).