June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day aims to raise community awareness and recognition of this largely hidden problem affecting older people living at home and in institutional settings. Elder abuse is mistreatment of an older person that is committed by someone with whom the older person has a relationship of trust. It is a violation of human rights and is recognised as such by the World Health Organization.
Elder abuse is a significant cause of illness, loss of productivity, isolation and despair. Elder abuse affects older women and men from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Older people are some of our most vulnerable citizens. Today I congratulate Blue Mountains carers and carer support services. I pay special tribute to Pru Hardgrove of Blue Mountains City Council and members of the Blue Mountains Community Care Forum who do so much to safeguard the human rights of older people in our community.