SENIORS LEGAL & SUPPORT SERVICE
The Seniors Legal and Support Service (SLASS) is operated by the Cairns Community Legal Centre Inc. The Centre employs both a Solicitor and Social Worker to provide the SLASS. The SLASS provides accessible legal and support services for the benefit of seniors affected by elder abuse or financial exploitation.
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. It can include:
- intentionally hurting a person, e.g. slapping, hitting or mistreating someone
- intentionally damaging another person’s property, e.g. hurting pets or breaking belongings
- verbal intimidation, humiliation, harassment or threats of physical harm or abandonment
- unwanted sexual approaches or indecent behaviour towards another person
- preventing a person from seeing others or denying them the right to make their own decisions
- intentional or unintentional failure to provide adequate care
Relationships of trust include:
- intimate relationships
- family relationships
- informal carers
- other people in close contact with an older person
What is financial exploitation?
Financial exploitation can include:
- the illegal or improper use, or misappropriation of a person’s property or finances
- forced changes to a will or other legal document
- denying someone the right to access and control their personal funds
- unfair or fraudulent practices relating to retirement villages, aged rental accommodation or residential parks
How can the Seniors Legal and Support Service assist?
The SLASS can (where appropriate):
- provide information, advice and support regarding elder abuse, mistreatment or financial exploitation
- provide short-term counselling
- provide information about your legal rights
- refer you to other legal, consumer and support services
- represent you in court or before tribunals (in certain limited circumstances)
- provide community education
Who can use the Seniors Legal and Support Service?
The SLASS is available to seniors, their carers (or service workers) within an hours’ drive of Cairns. Seniors who live outside of this area may be serviced at the discretion of the Centre. Legal advice and support is usually provided by appointment; or if you are unable to access the SLASS, a telephone consultation maybe arranged. Home visits are also available to those living within an hours drive of Cairns. Contact us to make an enquiry or book an appointment.
Free Legal Resource for Older People
For information about a range of legal issues commonly encountered by seniors, including granny flat arrangements, sharing property or loaning money to family members, wills and Enduring Power of Attorney, you can download a free copy of the Care For Your Assets: Money, Ageing and Family booklet, from our downloadable resources section on this page.