State Trustees Advocates Against Financial Elder Abuse

State Trustees has collaborated with various key stakeholders to develop a series of educational videos that address financial elder abuse.

Our videos with Certified Practicing Accountant Australia (CPA) and Law Institute of Victoria were launched today to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, whilst the remaining videos with Leading Age Services Australia and Victoria Police are still in production.

The videos consider different scenarios where each organisation can identify the warning signs and intervene in cases of financial elder abuse.

We believe that early intervention is the key to stamping out this form of abuse for our ageing population. Each year, we discover cases which involved financial advantage being taken of elderly people, often by those closest to them.

Research released by State Trustees in 2017 shows one in five Victorians surveyed reported knowing someone who they suspect had been a victim of financial elder abuse. The majority of abuse (78%) was thought to be perpetrated by family members.

Our research also revealed a lack of awareness of the safeguards available to prevent financial elder abuse, with the majority of Victorians surveyed demonstrating a lack of knowledge of how to report suspected incidents.

“Through these videos, we hope to continue raising awareness of this issue and encourage those who have been affected to start talking about it,” Acting Chief Executive Officer Agata Jarbin said.

On a broader level, State Trustees is encouraging Victorians to start having those difficult conversations that we all avoid and prepare for those tough times in life through a new campaign, ‘Let’s Talk’.

Our services help individuals and their families arrange their legal and financial affairs in the event of a death, disability, injury or major illness.

“This campaign is about getting people to open up and have conversations with their partners, parents, siblings, or other family members about those difficult and important decisions we need to make in life and in the unfortunate, but inevitable times of death.

“We want people to talk to each other, and when the time is right, to talk to State Trustees.”