Older people across NSW will be empowered to recognise and speak up about elder abuse as a series of informative workshops begin tomorrow to mark the upcoming 2018 Law Week. Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies and Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced Legal Aid NSW and the Seniors Rights Service have partnered with local specialists to deliver the workshop in communities across the State.

“These free workshops will shine a light on what are often taboo topics,” Mrs Davies said. “Financial abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse, and sadly, it’s often perpetrated by family members. In the worst cases, victims are fleeced of their savings by a relative or carer, or may even risk being made homeless.”

Participants will explore legal issues such as wills, enduring powers of attorney and elder abuse, with local experts and the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit leading the workshop. “A common scenario might involve an older person being pressured to ‘go guarantor’ on a home loan to help a child or grandchild get a foothold on the property ladder.

“That’s why it’s so important for older people to know how to protect themselves, and where to get help if things go wrong,” Mrs Davies said. Mr Speakman said the workshops, being held in 12 regional and city locations, would also highlight the importance of planning ahead.

“All too often, families are left making tough decisions that could have been made easier through early planning.” Simple things like writing a will and choosing someone you trust to make decisions for you if you need them to, can offer real peace of mind,” Mr Speakman said.