SA Adult Safeguarding Unit’s first report outlines 946 allegations of abuse of older Australians inside and outside aged care

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The inaugural South Australian Adult Safeguarding Unit’s Annual Report has revealed the details around elder abuse across the state – with some surprising findings.

As we covered here, the Unit was set up in 2018 in direct response to the closure of the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service in 2017 and began operation in 2019.

The Unit found a total of 946 reports of abuse were made to the prevention hotline.

Just 10.4% of the calls came from the victim themselves, while the majority (37.1%) came from a family member and 28% from the service provider.

The types of abuse most routinely reported were financial (42.7%), emotional/psychological (35.6%), neglect (14%) and physical (13%).

Almost half of all reported abuse was perpetrated by adult sons (27.4%) and adult daughters (19%) with people aged between 75 and 84 the most likely to be abused (12.2%).

Of the 946 reports, 239 of them (78.1%) were investigated by the ASU and just three (1%) had to be forwarded to more appropriate organisations, while 61 (19.9%) required no further action.

When abuse was found to have occurred, the ASU provided a safeguarding plan designed to prevent the victim experiencing more abuse in the future.