'Be kind' - simple message from Minister for Seniors ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Tomorrow is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the Minister for Seniors has one simple message: "Be kind".

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Tracey Martin says: “Take some time to listen to an older person”. Source: Breakfast

There are more than 2200 reported cases of suspected elder abuse each year and Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin says most of the abuse comes from family members.

"In New Zealand society, when we are aware that our seniors have a universal basic income, which is superannuation, there is a good likelihood that there are families moving in with their seniors," Ms Martin told TVNZ1's Breakfast. "This puts pressure on them to pay some of their bills, which then means the seniors themselves don't have enough money to survive."

She says we have to challenge the norms and the beliefs that come with getting old.

"We have to challenge what we believe are the norms of getting very old, that suddenly you are a child again and so other people can make decisions for you.

"Take some time to listen to an older person. Be kind to them. Take the time to ask them, what is it that they want to do, where is it that they want to go and how do they want to be treated?"