Elder Abuse Neglect Prevention (EANP)

Age Concern Tauranga no longer provides this service.

However, the Ministry of Social Development has opened a free and confidential 24/7 help-line, 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK). Calls are answered by registered nurses who will direct callers to elder abuse specialist service providers in your region.

What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?

Elder Abuse occurs when a person aged 65 or more experiences harmful physical, psychological, sexual, material/financial or social effects caused by the behaviour of another person with whom they have a relationship implying trust.

The older person and the abuser are people who know each other well. Statistics from services in New Zealand show that the majority of abuser are members of the kaumatua/older person's family/whanau (partners, sons, daughters, in laws, siblings, grandchildren). Other abusers include people employed in positions of trust - residential facility staff or paid carers.

Elder Abuse Can Mean

Physical - Infliction of physical pain, injury or force - eg: being hit, slapped, tied to a chair, withholding food, taking away food before finished.

Psychological / Emotional - behaviour including verbal abuse which causes mental anguish, stress and fear - e.g. called names, blackmailed, 'mind games'.

Ignoring - not giving care and attention, not caring for health conditions, leaving the person alone for long periods, not responding to a bell in a timely way.

Isolating - physical confinement, restricting normal contact with others, limiting freedom within a persons own environment.

Sexual - sexually abusive and exploitative behaviours involving threats, force of ability to give consent.

Material / Financial - illegal or improper exploitation and/or use of funds or other resources - e.g. having money or possessions taken off of you.

Elder Neglect

Neglect occurs as a result of another person failing to meet the physical and emotional needs of an older person/kaumatua.

Active Neglect is a conscious and intentional deprivation.

Passive Neglect is the result of the carers inadequate knowledge, infirmity or lack of trust in prescribed services.

What happens when someone is referred to an EANP Service?

  • Safety of person paramount
  • Confidential
  • Empowering strength based approach
  • Rights, culture and values of person are respected
  • Collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to find meaningful solutions for the person.

How can we prevent abuse - Respect the persons dignity and individuality by:

  • Helping people to make their own decisions - give a sense of control
  • Helping the person to express their individuality
  • Helping the person to speak for themselves or have a designated person
  • Letting the person do the things they can for themselves - avoid causing dependence
  • Helping the person to feel useful and that they contribute.