Course Overview


This Course enables health professionals to expose elder abuse and explore how it may manifest. Strategies to manage suspected elder abuse are also addressed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe elder abuse and common causes
  • Describe the different types of elder abuse
  • Explain nursing obligations for reporting suspected elder abuse in Australia

Topics include:

  • Defining elder abuse
  • Incidence and types
  • Warning signs and risk factors
  • Barriers to disclosure
  • Mandatory reporting

Target audience

All health professionals across all areas of professional practice, particularly those working with older people.


Provide current information on how elder abuse may be detected and to review your professional obligation with regards to mandatory reporting of elder abuse within Australia.


Every year in Australia, approximately 5% of people over 65 years old will be victims of elder abuse. Statistically speaking, this represents 150,000 cases, and the incidence is consistent, or worse, across the developed world. Elder abuse is a major issue. However, the tendency is to assume that elder abuse is manifest as overt sexual abuse and blatant assault, but statistics show that it is commonly far subtler than that. Rather, elder abuse involves financial, psychological, social and neglectful abuse, as well as abuse that is sexual and physical in nature. Older people are entitled to feel safe and secure, and to be treated in a respectful and dignified manner, wherever they reside, and so it is critical that all nurses are able to identify cases of elder abuse, understand why it happens, and what their professional obligations are in regards to intervention and reporting.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.