The shocking tales of elder abuse victims

March 6, 2018

They range from grandmothers with terminal cancer to women who have spent their lives in abusive domestic relationships, to fiercely independent octogenarians and cruise-loving seniors who cannot get their boomerang kids to leave home.

These are just some of the stories of elder abuse victims shared with a West Australian parliamentary inquiry, and they show the problem is affecting seniors from all walks of life.

The case studies have been submitted to the inquiry — which resumes public hearings next month — by lawyers Fran Ottolini and Vicki Edwards, who help victims at their Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) in Perth.

One tells of an 80-year-old woman who, while planning what to wear to her granddaughter’s wedding, unknowingly signed papers which handed over ownership of her house to her granddaughter.

Another explains how a frail elderly woman thought she had finally found peace from her life of domestic violence, but was forced to move into a nursing home after her son used her money to buy himself a house.

Some of the case studies involve elderly women forced into aged care due to abuse.

The lawyers say most of their clients are women aged over 60, who become at greater risk of abuse at times of grief or bad health and need to depend more heavily on their trusted friends and family.

Most of the perpetrators are daughters, which they say runs counter to the trend in Australia of predominantly male perpetrators.

Some of them are known as boomerang kids — adult children who return to live with their parents, often after a relationship breakdown, mental health problem or losing their job.

While these arrangements can work for some families, if they do not, it can be very difficult for a parent to get their child to move out.

And as another case study shows, some have to resort to taking out a violence restraining order (VRO).

Originally Published by ABC News, continue reading here.