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What is elder abuse? Well, as our leading aged care courses  teach, it's an unfortunate modern paradigm in which a person mistreats, exploits or harms a senior. It can be perpetrated by anyone, from a relative to a carer or even someone in authority. It's something that is sadly on the increase in Australia and across the world, so you have to keep your eye out for it happening.

How common Is Elder Abuse In Australia? 

Well, it would seem that 1 in 6 older Australians has experienced some type of elder abuse, whether talking about neglect, financial, physical or psychological abuse. Especially when it involves a senior with dementia, this kind of abuse can go unnoticed for years, which means a pretty miserable time for someone who has to place their absolute trust in the people looking after them.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Elder Abuse?  

The interpersonal skills  of someone in their later years are often impacted by illness and age, so it can be difficult to detect. What makes it even trickier is that the person perpetrating the abuse is likely going to be trying to keep it a secret. However, it can get easier to spot with a keen eye and a bit of knowledge. 

  • Warning Sign - Poor Hygiene

If you're caring for a loved one and always finding their hygiene to be poor - when they're supposed to be getting cared for professionally, it can be a significant warning sign. It’s the duty of an aged care professional to ensure their patients are comfortable and clean. One or two occurrences might be an oversight, but when a pattern emerges, you should take notice.

  • Warning Sign - Weight Loss

You don’t have to take aged care courses  to know that another major responsibility for elderly care professionals is the provision of meals. As such, if your loved one or patient starts to lose weight unexpectedly, it should at least raise the question of why. Of course, it could simply be old age or illness, but the picture becomes more apparent when combined with other symptoms.

  • Warning Sign - Becoming Withdrawn

It’s completely natural for anyone being bullied or abused to become withdrawn - mainly when the abuser is around. You might find that they’re happy and outgoing until a certain person turns up and then becomes silent. This may be an involuntary reaction passed off by others as moodiness, but it can be a sign that something is happening, so be vigilant.

  • Warning Sign - Other Carers Arguing or Belittling

There may even be occasions when you witness other carers arguing or belittling those they care for. They may explain it away by blaming the arguments on a grumpy patient, but it could very well be related to the level of care they’re being given. As online learning  on the subject shows, NO level of unpleasantness is warranted, no matter the provocation. 

The truth is that elderly abuse is very difficult to see first-hand, but the impact of the abuse is often very evident to those who know what to look for. If you suspect elder abuse is taking place, you can call the Australian Elder Abuse Helpline. It’s confidential, and there’s lots of advice and guidance on offer on what to do when you see it and the support that’s available.

Want To Study For An Aged Care Role? Try OCA Online Training 

If you’ve got your eye on a rewarding aged care career, you can get all the training you need from OCA video-based CPD-accredited short courses  that offer a next-level learning experience. Modular and able to be viewed via any smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can learn at a pace that suits you, arranging it quickly around your current life obligations.

Courses like those found in our great-value Job-Ready Aged Care Bundle deliver high-quality content that gives you everything you need to apply for roles. What do we mean by next-level learning? Well, if you take a look at our Student Study Demo, you’ll see that you get great support via 1-to-1 mentoring and a selection of payment options that suit your budget.

Our students regularly tell us that we offer the best online education Australia  has to offer, and it’s because of our dedication to providing a supportive environment. To learn more about us and what we offer, visit us today at

Alternatively, if you have any questions for our team that you’d like answered before enrolment, we’ve got your back! Just call us on 1300 611 404 today for a chat or email us at The moment we get your inquiry, we’ll strive to get back to you as quickly as possible.

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