A new media campaign has begun to raise public awareness of the link between ageism and abuse and mistreatment of older people.

The campaign reminds the community that older people have rights – the right to make their own decisions, to work, be safe, and be treated with dignity and respect.

It highlights that when others assume an older person cannot do something and exclude them because of their age, it makes them feel invisible and sad.

The 2021 National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study reported that one in six older Australians experienced some form of abuse or mistreatment in the 12 months before the survey, from February to May 2020.

In a South Australian survey of older people, around half said they did not feel valued in their community.

Ageism stems from negative views of older people and the ageing process.

The new campaign underscores that ageism can lead to mistreatment, neglect, and other forms of abuse and it urges people to reflect on how they treat the older people in their life.

The Elder Abuse Prevention Campaign is featuring on digital and social media, radio, in print, and on screens in shopping centres around regional and metropolitan South Australia until 27 July 2022.

Tackling ageism will be a priority of the new Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians 2022-2027, to be released later this year, and is an Enabling Factor of South Australia’s Plan for Ageing Well 2020-2025.

More information: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/tacklingageism