Legal Aid ACT's older persons support service received 549 calls in its first eight months of operation, on matters including elder abuse and the misuse of powers of attorney.
Other matters brought to their attention by older people included family violence, family care arrangements, guardianship and financial management, age and disability discrimination, neighbourhood disputes and credit and debt.
The Older Persons ACT Legal Service, known as OPALS, has been operating since November 2018 and in that time has provided legal assistance to 98 people. The service is focused on helping those experiencing elder abuse.
Legal Aid ACT's annual report said across the organisation, 689 services were provided to clients aged 65 and over, of which 152 involved family violence.
"Older people encounter significant barriers in accessing legal and justice services," the annual report said.
The service aimed to work in partnership with other agencies to reach out to the most isolated and vulnerable older people in the community.
"OPALS provides information and referral services, legal advice and representation to individuals, and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people."
Meanwhile, the introduction of the ACT Drug and Alcohol Court will have a significant effect on Legal Aid ACT and their ability to provide services in these emerging space, the annual report said.
Growth in demand for legal assistance is an ongoing challenge, it said, particularly when balancing new commitments like elder abuse support and new initiatives like the Drug and Alcohol Court, case conferencing in the Supreme Court and the Therapeutic Care Court.
"Our capacity to continue in this direction, in particular to fund litigation in the future, is likely to be limited by financial constraints without significantly increased government investment," the report said.
The number of people accessing Legal Aid ACT's general helpline increased by more than 11 per cent compared with the previous 12 months, from 15,671 in 2017-18 to 17,406 in the most recent financial year.
The top three matters for which people sought legal advice, as recorded by the service over 2018-19, were domestic violence and personal protection orders, employment issues, and mental health.