As in Victoria 46% of the population is born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas many ethnic communities age disproportionately from the rest of the population. This happens because many non-English speaking residents arrived in Australia at the same time, they had similar ages, and in large groups. So the thousands of Greeks, Italians, Polish etc who migrated after the World War are all old now. Many depend on family members, usually children, or partners to help them with day to day living as either they never learnt English (due to large numbers who stuck together and helped each other, as well as lack of services and supports back at the time of their migration, and due to other governmental priorities - Australia needed unskilled laborers to work in industries that no one else wanted to go), or they revert back to their native tongue due to dementia and/or other cognitive impairing diseases and the aging process.
Unfortunately this group of elderly are particularly susceptible to elder abuse, (any act that harms older people and that is carried out by someone they know and should be able to trust such as family or friends. Such harm can be financial, physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, including mistreatment or neglect.)
This abuse from a loved one can bring elderly to desperation, cause enormous pain and stress and contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As this group predominantly doesn't speak good english, is not computer literate or smartphone savvy etc has additional challenges when it comes to accessing information and navigating services and supports. Often their mental illness goes unnoticed or undiagnosed. Many suffer in silence. Their lives are filled with fear and distress as on one hand they rely on their children/loved ones for support and on the other, these very same people neglect their needs, manipulate them emotionally, exploit them financially, and abuse them in ways unfathomable to many.
So how do we help half of our elderly population who may not know their rights and options? How do we support an elderly person who is frail, vulnerable and disadvantaged due to linguistic and cultural notions that perhaps hinder their ability to ask for help? How do we make a difference to a 70yo+ or 80yo+ who may suffer from depression due to conflict in the family and being trapped in their own home? It could be your neighbor, your relative, your friend or your own partner or parent.