Reporting of elder abuse is the tip of the iceberg.
Age Concern New Zealand Manawatu Outreach Service manager Marian Dean says only one in 10 cases are reported, pointing to an alarming rate of abuse that is going unreported.
Abuse comes in different forms.
Because the elderly have a fixed income, retaining their eftpos card and drawing on their funds is one reported case of abuse.
"Coercing them into situations is another form where the abuser has access to their bank account," Marian said.
"And sometimes the abuse has been normalised in their daily living, which can be generational abuse."
Marian says that the elderly can self refer, as can a relative who suspects there is abuse, or a social agency can also refer them to Age Concern who can then assist them to find the help required.
However, Age Concern is not a crisis service.
¦Age Concern has an Elder Abuse and Response Service, Accredited Visiting Service and health programmes.
¦Elder Abuse Week is from June 15-22 and in conjunction with the week, Age Concern is holding a women's self defence workshop for women aged 55 and over.
The course, run by Wahine Toa Women's Self Defence Network's Julie Goldingham will cover techniques for keeping yourself safe, including group discussion.
The workshop is from 9am to 4pm and the venue in central Palmerston North will be advised at registration.
¦ For more information: Age Concern, 51 Waldegrave St, 355-2832