Elder abuse Q&A with Partner Brian Herd

By Brian Herd / 31 October 2023
2 min.

Brian Herd is a Partner and the head of HopgoodGanim's Estates and Succession practice

Listen to Brian share his insights about elder abuse below and read on for his answers to common questions about elder abuse, financial abuse and support that's available.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is a series of conduct or actions taken by someone in a position of trust in relation to a vulnerable person; such as, for example, an elderly parent. So this is a person taking advantage of the dependency of the adult and the power they have to benefit themselves and harm that elderly person.

HopgoodGanim has published a report, Elder abuse and coercive control in Australia, with more information.



How common is elder abuse?

I'd love to be able to say that I have statistics that are factual and correct; however, at best we know elder abuse is increasing year on year. 95% of elder abuse is committed, we understand, by family members. So we can assume, our gut tells us, as part of the statistics we do have, that it is increasing; it’s becoming a major social, financial and family problem. 

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is when a person in a position of power or control over another person uses that power or control to take advantage financially of that person. There are all sorts of ways people do that. They get access to their bank account; their online bank account. They use money to pay for their own personal bills. These are classic examples of financial abuse, particularly within families. 

What help is available?

There is help, and you should take advantage of it if you believe someone is being abused - elder abuse, or if you are the victim of abuse. For example, you can contact the Elder Abuse Hotline to report your concerns. You can even contact the police. You can contact, for example, the Office of the Public Guardian, or you can contact a solicitor like us in terms of just talking about it and seeing what your recourses are.

Video image credit: ‘Wilaarrawa Dugulaarra’ (Growing Together) © Frances Belle Parker 2022.

31 October 2023
Key Contacts
Brian Herd
Brian is a Partner in our Estates and Succession team.

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