Elder abuse support services and resources

The Department of Communities collaborates with a range of key stakeholders and, through the provision of funding initiatives to non-government stakeholders, helps deliver elder abuse support services to Western Australians.
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Elder abuse affects many older Western Australians, and may involve social, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse.

The Department of Communities is working to reduce elder abuse in Western Australia through the development and implementation of an elder abuse strategy and the provision of resources designed to support individuals and service providers.

Elder abuse support services

  • Council on the Ageing WA (COTA WA) is the Vulnerable Seniors Peak Body in Western Australia. Call COTA WA on (08) 9472 0104.  
  • Advocare assists older people to understand their rights and provides free confidential information and support to older people who are at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. Call the Elder Abuse Helpline on 1300 724 679.
  • Elder Rights WA (ERWA) is a state-wide holistic legal service delivered by Legal Aid WA. A specialised team of Lawyers provides legal advice, assistance and representation to vulnerable seniors who are experiencing certain types of legal matters. Social Workers are also available to support ERWA clients in dealing with social, physical and mental challenges which may impact their legal concerns. Call the Legal Aid WA Infoline on 1300 650 579.
  • Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) provides the Older People’s Rights Service, including free legal advice, advocacy, information and social support to those at risk or experiencing elder abuse - it is a wrap-around model of service. In addition, NSCLC’s Elder Abuse Peer Education Scheme uses specifically trained volunteers to connect and educate older people in the community about elder abuse through presentations to community groups, the Purple Road, participation in community events and networks and the Seniors at Risk at Home telephone support service. Call NSCLC on (08) 9440 1663 or email oprs@nsclegal.org.au.
  • Office of the Public Advocate works to promote and protect the human rights of Western Australian adults with decision-making disabilities. The office can provide information about Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship. Call the Telephone Advisory Service on 1300 858 455.
  • The Public Trustee offers independent trustee and asset management services. These include Will and Enduring Power of Attorney drafting, deceased estate administration, executor support, financial administration and trust management services. Call 1300 746 212.

Elder abuse awareness brochure

Information about elder abuse, including where to go for help. Download the brochure below. 

Elder abuse awareness brochure - Auslan version

Watch the Auslan video version of the brochure:

Elder abuse awareness posters

Download our suite of 'Stop elder abuse' posters.

These posters are also available in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Italian and Vietnamese.

Elder abuse awareness postcards

Download our suite of 'Stop elder abuse' postcards.

At Home Guide

COTA WA’s At Home Guide supports older Western Australians to live well. Developed in partnership with the Department of Communities, the guide is designed as an ongoing companion for seniors at home.

Access the At Home Guide on COTA WA’s website.

Understanding the Mistreatment of Older People Guide

COTA WA’s Understanding the Mistreatment of Older People Guide draws together in one easily accessible resource, all the help you will need in identifying different kinds of abuse, common reasons for its occurrence and how victims and potential victims and their families may help to prevent it. It also includes comprehensive details of where to go for  help and support, depending on the circumstances of the mistreatment.

Download the Guide (PDF)

Download the Guide Translated to Simplified Chinese + Vietnamese + Polish + Italian (PDF)

Research into the mistreatment of older Aboriginal Australians - 2022 report

Best practice guidelines for interviewing older people at risk

These guidelines were funded by the Department of Communities and developed with reference to relevant literature and informed by the extensive professional experience of legal practitioners and client advocates working at the Older People’s Rights Service at the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) in Perth, Western Australia. Researchers from the ECU Social Ageing (SAGE) Futures Lab conducted focus groups and interviews with Western Australian professionals from relevant sectors.

This process was guided by an advisory group comprising representatives of the following organisations: Advocare, Council on the Ageing WA (COTA WA), Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre, Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing, Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime, the Department of Communities and WA Police Force.