Lifeline says older Australians are more likely to be abused by family members than by staff in aged care homes.It is clear that if euthanasia or assisted suicide is legalized, that the scourge of elder abuse in society will result in some people dying by the ultimate form of elder abuse which is death. The laws that prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide are designed to protect people from the subtle and undue influence of others while that person is experiencing a difficult period of life.
The community organisation has launched a study into the abuse of people aged over 65 to help improve support and protection services.
Spokeswoman Maya Zetlin says existing research shows psychological abuse is the most common form suffered by older Australians.
"Most abuse happens in the community and unfortunately mainly by family members," she said.
"And the worst part [is] that ... adult sons and daughters are the main abusers.
"The way older people are treated, spoken to, power taken away from them, threats are made to them ... that type of abuse is very hard to identify," she said.
"And there are a lot of people that don't recognize that they're abused or even that they're abusing."
Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide opens new paths to elder abuse.