Elder abuse in the African community in regional Australia

Ndungi Wa Mungai, Ilonka Guse-Brennfleck, John Moi

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The aim of this study is to establish whether elder abuse is an issue of concern for the African community in rural New South Wales. A teaching case methodology is used to explore the phenomenon. This methodology has been identified as an appropriate method to use when there islimited data available. Using two teaching cases, we demonstrate how the breakdown in cultural practices could leave the elderly at risk of abuse. We also demonstrate that this problem is often hidden from the general community. Lack of English language and isolation increases the vulnerability of the elderly. Cultural practices and norms in the culture of origin provided the basis for protection and support for the elderly. Urbanization and migration lessens the protection and support provided by cultural practices and norms as these breakdown and this places the elderly at greater risk. This article highlights the importance ofunderstanding cultures in transition and of upholding the human rights of vulnerable groups. The article recommends more detailed studies of the phenomenon of elder abuse in this community, as well as the general refugee and immigrant communities. Such studies would explore theextent of the problem and possible solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
Journalinternational journal of social work and human services practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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