Responding to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse) Policy

Applicable to: This Policy is applicable to all Health Service Providers, excluding Health Support Services and PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA. From this point on, all references to Health Service Providers excludes Heath Support Services and PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA.


Older people are significant users of health and disability support services. Early identification of clients who are vulnerable to elder abuse can result in an increase in their safety and health outcomes. Thus, health professionals are well placed to identify and respond to a person experiencing elder abuse.

The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • ensure consistent standards for relevant Health Service Providers with regard to identifying and responding to elder abuse
  • support early detection of elder abuse
  • reduce incidences of elder abuse.

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the supporting Guideline for Responding to Elder Abuse, which provides best practice guidance on how Health Service Providers identify, respond to, support and refer a client who they suspect is experiencing elder abuse.  
This Policy is underpinned by the Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse: Western Australia (APEA:WA) Elder Abuse Protocol: Guidelines for Action 2017.  
This Policy is a mandatory requirement under the Clinical Services Planning and Programs Policy Framework pursuant to section 26(2)(c) of the Health Services Act 2016.

Date of effect: 28 April 2021

Policy Framework

Supporting information