This article was published by Hope Australia on May 27. Paul Russell is the director of Hope Australia.
Elder Abuse is a serious issue. The abuse of elderly people by unscrupulous relatives or carers or people who befriend a lone elder with sinister motive vexes authorities.
Why? Because it is a mostly hidden phenomenon of people who will have a diminished ability to speak out by virtue of the abuse itself or because of their isolation.
Characterised mostly by greed over finances, elder abuse has also been noted as physical, emotional and even sexual abuse of a vulnerable elderly person.
The image of such a person is perhaps of one who is aware of the abuse but has no ability to complain. This may not always be the case. It is also possible that a person offers excellent care and support of an individual at all times and uses their friendship and influence to have the elderly person make over their estate to them at the exclusion of any other beneficiary.
The recent story of a nurse gaining the full estate of an elderly Melbourne man may well be such a case. I say 'may be' deliberately because, to date, no case has been proven against Abha Anuradha Kumar, who managed aged care facility Cambridge House, where Lionel Cox was being cared for.
Friends of Mr Cox have questioned the new will created only weeks before Mr Cox passed away witnessed by two other staff at the care facility. Spellng corrections, shaky handwriting and other errors in the drawing up of the newest will cast additional suspicions. Ms Kumar stands to gain more than $AU900,000.