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Everyone deserves respect

Legal help for older people on the Central Coast and Lower Hunter

Every older person has rights.

You can:

■ Control and access your own money and property.

■ Attend appointments without another person.

■ Choose to see family and friends when you want.

■ Have easy access to clean clothes, food and your own medication.

Are you ok?

Take our Wellbeing check-up to find out:

I know how much money I have in my bank account.

I have the freedom to spend my money.

I have the freedom to see family and friends when I want.

I attend social activities.

I receive medical attention when I need it, and have a say about my healthcare plan and treatment.

My personal care needs (showering, personal hygiene etc.) are taken care of.

I am treated respectfully by my family and friends.

I feel safe at home and my right to live in my home is secure.

Think about your responses

If you have any concerns about your situation, you may wish to talk to someone you trust. Legal Aid NSW can help you. We have a team of lawyers and a social worker to help work through your concerns.

Our lawyers can help you with things like:

■ Your rights to control your money and recover unpaid loans

■ Powers of Attorney and Guardianship

■ Housing problems including ‘granny flat’ arrangements

■ Problems with Centrelink

■ Reporting physical and sexual abuse

■ Apprehended Violence Orders

■ Providing help and advice to people experiencing neglect, harassment, verbal abuse, threats and threatening behaviour

Our social worker can support you with things like:

■ Counselling

■ Facilitated family meetings

■ Helping you reconnect to social groups and community support

■ Connecting you to services to support you

■ Helping you stay safe

Contact the Elder Abuse Service at the Legal Aid NSW Gosford office. 92 – 100 Donnison Street Gosford NSW 2250

Call 02 4324 5611 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday – Friday

Maria’s story

Maria’s adult son moved in with her when he separated from his partner. Maria wanted to help him and needed help herself after a recent fall. Maria’s son had access to Maria’s money through a Power of Attorney. Maria noticed amounts of money missing from her account. Her son told her he would pay the money back, but never did. Her son got angry when Maria asked about the money so she avoided bringing it up. After the fall, Maria was dependant on her son to drive her around, but he never took her anywhere. Her son stopped her daughter from visiting. Maria was feeling isolated and depressed. She stopped eating. Maria asked her son to leave a few times but he didn’t take her seriously.

We helped Maria by:

■ Helping her to feel safe and empowered her to do something about her situation.

■ Revoking her son’s power of attorney.

■ Reconnecting Maria with her daughter.

■ Giving notice to her son to leave the property.

■ Drafting a written agreement for the repayment of the money her son used.

This publication is a general guide to the law. You should not rely on it as legal advice, and we recommend that you talk to a lawyer about your situation. The information is correct at the time of printing, however it may change. For more information contact LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.

September 2021