Combating Elder Abuse in Australia and India


Series: Geriatrics, Gerontology and Elderly Issues
BISAC: MED032000

This edited book is based on original work of authors. It discusses elder abuse issues and brings focus on different ways of combating it. The topic of elder abuse has gained importance in recent years especially with ageing of the populations and increase in the number of older people in societies. Australia and India are two important and leading countries in the Asia Pacific region. Their specific country responses are of interest in these regions and even for the world. Combating elder abuse has gained importance in recent times as there are not only different types of elder abuse identified in societies but also there exists various strategies to deal with the problem. What steps are being taken in Australia and India can be examples of combating the menace in the Pacific and Asian region.
The book will of academic interest as it highlights an important concern with which academicians and researchers are increasingly getting involved in different countries and looking for solutions and ways to combat the growing problem from different disciplinary frameworks but mainly from social and legal perspectives which this book takes into account. This is first of its kind book which focuses on two important ageing countries, namely Australia and India, simultaneously, who are increasingly facing the problem of elder abuse, a growing global menace which requires different combating mechanisms to minimize its impact on societies. Social and legal perspectives on tackling the problem of elder abuse in different situations are gaining ground in countries and the chapters in this book discuss different aspects of ways to combat the problem by also discussing aspects of its occurrence in different sections of the society. Issues of vulnerabilities which older people face leading to elder abuse and what kind of societal responses are needed and are being adopted in societies to combat the problem has been highlighted by different authors in the book. Chapters written by experts from the social and legal field from the two countries, giving first-hand account of the situation in terms of care giving issues, financial abuse, rural areas, dementia patients, widows, prevailing legislations, residential care facilities, national and local responses, rights of senior citizens, and broader concerns related to combating the problem would be of interest to cross section of people across the world.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Elder Abuse in Australia and India: An Oveview of Occurrence and Combating Measures
(Mala Kapur Shankardass, PhD, Sociologist, Gerontologist and Health Social Scientist, Associate Professor, Maitreyi College, South Campus, University of Delhi, Delhi, India, and others)

Chapter 2. Family and Care of Elderly in India: Challenges and Responses
(Anupama Datta, Head Policy Research and Advocacy, HelpAge, India)

Chapter 3. Statutory Protections against Financial Abuse in Australia
(Bill Mitchell, Principal Solicitor, Registered Migration Agent 0215663, Townsville Community Law, Townsville, Australia)

Chapter 4. Exploring ‘Rurality’ as an Additional Vulnerability for Elder Abuse
(Barbara Blundell and Amy Warren, Lecturer, School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Australia, and others)
Chapter 5. The Australian Law Refrom Commission’s Inquiry into Elder Abuse in Australia: The Report, the Response and Recent Developments
(Eileen Webb, Division of Justice and Society, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia)

Chapter 6. The Legal Framework Affecting Restrictive Practices in Australian Residential Aged Care – a Lack of Fitness for Purpose
(Eileen Webb, Division of Justice and Society, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia)

Chapter 7. The Australian Response to Elder Abuse and Neglect: An Overview
(Justine Irving, Course Coordinator, Gerontology Program, Flinders University, South Australia, Australia, and others)

Chapter 8. Abuse of the Elderly Widows
(Kiran Puri, Founder Member, Trustee and Director, Development Welfare and Research Foundation)

Chapter 9. Rights of Senior Citizens-Indian Law and Policy Persectives towards Combating Elder Abuse
(Sanjoy Ghose, Rhishabh Jetley, Urvi Mohan and Naman Jain, Advocates)

Chapter 10. Combating Elder Abuse: Any Role for Supported-Decision-Making, Adult Guardianship or Other Laws?
(Terry Carney, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Chapter 11. Elder Abuse In India With Reference To Dementia
(Vidya Shenoy, Secretary General, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India [ARDSI], and others)



“This thought-provoking book brings together perspectives on elder abuse from two very different settings – India and Australia.  This is a neglected, but critical issue for the wellbeing of older people and there are important lessons that can be learnt from both countries. And it is great to see the emphasis on concrete strategies to reduce the burden of this pervasive scourge.” – Professor John Beard, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Adjunct Professor, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

“As President of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), I strongly recommend Dr. Shankardass’ edited book on elder abuse to professionals, policymakers, academics and students alike. It provides a comprehensive and cutting edge overview of elder abuse prevention and intervention services as well as legal rights and policies from an international human rights perspective. Dr. Shankardass, a foremost expert in elder abuse, has brought together a world-class group of scholars who contribute their insights and expertise to further knowledge and understanding of this issue.” – Susan B. Somers, JD, President, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, New York, USA

“The response to elder abuse and neglect is unique to each jurisdiction (country, region). This book provides a nuanced understanding of the political, social, public health, community and legal responses to this problem in India and Australia. It presents an overview from different disciplines and raises important issues that need to be considered to develop adequate practices such as gender, capacity (or cognitive health), role of families, rights of older persons, … It deserves to be read widely.” –  Professor Marie Beaulieu, Ph. D., MSRC/FRSC, Co-Director, WHO Collaborative Centre, Age Friendly Communities/Elder Abuse, Sherbrooke, Canada; Chairholder, Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults

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