ELDER abuse is everyone's business, age discrimination commissioner Kay Patterson said as she visited Tamworth recently to encourage people to protect themselves from being exploited at the end of their life.
Dr Patterson was a guest at the University of the Third Age's state conference in Tamworth this week.
While the aged care royal commission has shone a light on the dark reality of frail and vulnerable seniors copping mistreatment within institutions, Dr Patterson said elder abuse takes all forms.
"You get minor pilfering right through to extreme neglect and abuse," she said.
"It is everybody's business and we advise people about what their rights are to make sure they've got their enduring documents, their guardianship document, their advanced care directive, their will done."
Dr Patterson said 50 per cent of people die in Australia without a will or power of attorney, which could be leaving people vulnerable.
A former senator and health minister, Dr Patterson said the abuse revealed through the royal commission was being doled out by a small minority of people in aged care doing the wrong thing and wanted to make sure the whole industry wasn't "besmirched".
She said some issues could be mitigated by educating workers.
Employing older workers was another cause Dr Patterson was championing during her Tamworth visit and claimed hiring people over-65 could have a $33 billion benefit to the economy.
"There is some ageism that exists and people think older people are not capable of doing things and sometimes have very negative views," she said.
"We need to see older people working longer, the pension age is going up to 67 over a period of time.
"It means older people can save for longer and not run down their assets."