Elder Abuse 

Public Interest Law helps older people who are facing complex legal problems that arise from elder abuse. We can help older people navigate the legal system to ensure they feel safe and are treated with dignity and respectWe partner with government and community services to identify legal need and help older people assert their rights. 

What is elder abuse? 

Elder abuse is where someone an older person expects they can trust acts in a way to cause the older person harm or distress. This might be a friend or family member, or a health or aged care worker. This abuse might take various forms – physical, sexual or psychological abuse, neglect or financial abuse.  

How can we help? 

The law isn’t always the best or the only way to resolve elder abuse, but it can help stop or prevent abuse. We connect older people with our network of pro bono lawyers, who can help with:  

  • supportive decision making (guardianship and administration); 
  • financial abuse, including misuse of powers of attorney; debts and loans; transfer of title to property; 
  • contract matters involving undue influence or other unfair conduct; 
  • disputes about arrangements where assets are given in exchange for the promise of care; 
  • tenancy; 
  • discrimination; and 
  • centrelink entitlements. 

Projects 

Ageing & Disability Abuse Helpline Project

Public Interest Law and the Ageing & Disability Abuse Helpline have a referral pathway for older persons experiencing elder abuse. If an older person contacts the helpline with a legal issue, they may be referred to Public Interest Law and receive legal assistance from our network of pro bono lawyers. 

knowmore Wills Project

knowmore is an independent service for survivors of institutional child abuse, knowmore identified a gap in legal assistance for their clientwho they help with claims under the National Redress Scheme: many do not have a will. 

Through this established referral pathway, Public Interest Law can find a pro bono lawyer to draft a will for knowmore clients to ensure their redress claim can continue even if they pass away during the process.  

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