Media Release

‘Inheritance Impatience’ may soon be the driver of fatal elder abuse

recent article published in the Sydney Morning Herald cites ‘inheritance impatience’ as a significant driver for increasing elder abuse. The NSW Ageing and Disability Commission reported that between 2022-23 there have been 14,025 calls to the elder abuse hotline.

When explaining the 12 per cent increase at budget estimates, NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald attributed the trend to an ageing population and a rising phenomenon called ‘inheritance impatience.’

Fitzgerald said, “Our children – my children – will have to wait much longer for the wealth transfer to occur”. He said, “What we know about adult children is that they are not patient, so inheritance impatience will, in fact, grow.”

NSW State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Joshua Rowe, said, “The rise in the abuse of the elderly is heartbreaking and reflects deeply on a seismic cultural shift away from honouring the wisdom, legacy, and traditions passed on from the previous generations.”

He went on to highlight, “I am particularly concerned by these figures with the imminent implementation of euthanasia services in NSW on 28th November 2023”.

“Reports show a rise in the Netherlands and Canada of involuntary termination using VAD. Those countries are a long way down the ‘slippery slope’ now, but legalising VAD in NSW sets us on that pathway”.

“Most often, the immediate family will directly influence the care, or lack thereof, received by their elder relative. Sadly, combined this with the rise of elder abuse because of ‘inheritance impatience’ and you have a seriously deadly concoction.”

“In the name of autonomy, we mustn’t allow this deadly procedure to become a tool for impatience abusers”.

ACL calls on the Minns Government to re-prioritise life-affirming palliative care and review the implementation of VAD in NSW.

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