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Adult Safeguarding Unit to be established in South Australia

The Adult Safeguarding Unit is a specialised unit in South Australia that, will have the power to respond to elder abuse cases.

The Adult Safeguarding Unit it will make it easier for the community to report suspicions of abuse or neglect. The Unit will also be able to get involved in situations where the older person has been unable to come forward, or prevented from talking about their concerns. 

“The Unit will be responsible for taking phone calls and assessing cases where abuse is suspected. It will also work with many organisations across South Australia to support the rights of older people experiencing abuse, and people who may be at risk of abuse- to get help early on”, Senior Policy Officer of the Office for the Ageing, in South Australia, Maria Vlachoulis said.

According to statistics 1 in 20 older people experience abuse from someone they know and trust, such as a family member or friend.

“We suspect this number may be higher as older people often put up with living in abusive situations without telling anyone or without anyone knowing.  There are many reasons why they may do this, none of which are their fault. For example, they may be too afraid to speak up, too ashamed to tell someone, or may not know who they can talk to. There is a greater risk of elder abuse remaining hidden when older people have dementia, are physically frail, or are living in the same home as the person who is the abuser”, Mrs Vlachoulis said.

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