The Canadian government has identified elder abuse as a serious societal problem and is making significant investment into elder abuse prevention programs.

The Australian newspaper reported today in an article written by Jared Owens that Seniors groups in Australia are demanding a toll-free Elder Abuse report line.

The article reports that there have been a string of high-profile manslaughter prosecutions of carers accused of killing their bed-ridden mothers. In Queensland authorities have laid at least five charges in recent months, all were accused of neglecting elderly women in their care.

The Australian reported that: Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates yesterday called for a national approach to deal with the problem of “elder abuse”, which he said was likely to continue with the ageing population.

Yates stated to the Australian newspaper: “One of the problems is that when people suspect elder abuse, they don’t know who to call, what we need is a national 1-800 number.”

Lillian Jeter, executive director of the Elder Abuse Prevention Association, called for mandatory reporting legislation, which would compel carers and health professionals to report any suspected abuse.

Jeter stated to the Australian: “But the first step has to be 1-800 lines that people can call if they see something,”

Mandatory reporting currently exists only in residential care in Australia, as a result of revelations in 2006 that elderly residents of a Victorian aged care home had been sexually abused.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill told the Australian that:

every death was a tragedy but questioned the practicality of increasing oversight of carers.

“People often underestimate the demand placed on carers and the stress levels they have to deal with, particularly if they’re caring for someone with a significant illness.”

The issue of elder abuse is a primary concern for people who care about the vulnerable. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition recognizes that the scourge of elder abuse within society needs to be effectively dealt with in Society.

Euthanasia would become the ultimate form of elder abuse.