Minister for Seniors Maggie Barry has welcomed the commitment to protecting older people shown at the first Elder Abuse Response Service provider’s forum.

“Over 2000 cases of elder abuse are reported each year but the majority goes unreported. It’s believed up to 10 per cent of seniors experience some form of abuse and three quarters is carried out by family members,” Ms Barry says.

“On July 1 the Government launched EARS, a new approach to how we intervene and respond to elder abuse cases across the country, with a free and confidential 24/7 help-line, 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK) as its cornerstone.”

Representatives from the 18 groups delivering the EARS met in Wellington yesterday. It was a chance to share experiences, compare approaches and see how their service connects with the nationwide network protecting older people.

“I was encouraged by the level of understanding and dedication shown by the providers. They are building services focused on the needs of their particular communities and areas – culturally appropriate, responsive and empathetic.”

The Government has committed $2.9m a year to EARS, up from $1.7m under the previous model.

“EARS is designed for real action on elder abuse, getting older people the help they need, quickly, effectively and safely. I have no doubt the providers are well placed to deliver that service.”

For more information on EARS visit

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