Alarming figures from the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission reveal elder abuse rose by 20 per cent in the first three months of this year. Women are the main victims; adult children are the culprits. Psychological and financial abuse were the main types of abuse reported. "It's difficult for the community to talk about, but of the reports we receive, adult children are the most common alleged perpetrators of abuse of their parents," said Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald. "Compared to the previous quarter, in January to March 2023 we had a 20 per cent increase in reports and a 10 per cent increase in calls to the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline." In that period, the helpline received 3583 calls, which included 1132 reports of abuse. The number of calls to the helpline in the 12 months to March (13,313) was 4 per cent higher than the previous year (12,759). The number of reports was 6 per cent higher than the previous year. Of the 1132 reports from January to March, the commission said 853 involved older people. Most (67 per cent) concerned older women and the largest proportion of reports involved people aged 80-84 (almost 16 per cent). Half of the 853 reports listed adult children as the perpetrators. The most common allegations were people being subjected to verbal or other psychological abuse; being financially exploited; not having their support needs met; and being prevented or restricted from access to family and others. The commission closed 1020 reports after support was given to the caller. Some matters were either referred to police or are still being investigated. Mr Fitzgerald said World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 was an important time to raise awareness of the rights of older people to live free from abuse. "We're getting more calls because there's greater awareness about abuse in the community and people know that there is a helpline that can provide them with information and support, or to make a report," he said. "You don't need to be an expert in detecting abuse. You just need to recognise the signs and talk with someone about your concerns." The Older Persons Advocacy Network will host an online conversation with members of its National Older Persons Reference Group on June 15. It will involve discussion of the experiences of older people, and foster a dialogue around ageism and abuse. Click here for details.