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15 November 2018
A world-first Elder Abuse Prevention and Support Framework and a new digital aged care staff training system are underway to protect vulnerable senior Australians.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has developed the initiatives, thanks to a $3 million Liberal National Government investment to tackle elder abuse.
Preventing and addressing elder abuse is a top priority, and aged care advocacy and giving a voice to senior Australians play a crucial part in this.
The new national framework – developed from advocacy experience in Western Australia and South Australia - aligns services to prevent elder abuse and will allow OPAN’s advocates in every State and Territory to better support senior Australians, and provide even stronger advocacy for their rights and protection.
The new aged care staff training tool Talk to Us First is an innovative way to help aged care providers educate their workforce about OPAN’s services and how to help care recipients and their families access aged care advocacy.
It also highlights the importance of increasing awareness of the Charter of Care Recipients' Rights and Responsibilities.
The initiatives come as new figures from OPAN WA service provider Advocare show a significant rise in calls to the State’s Elder Abuse Helpline.
Advocare regularly receives around 60 calls a month about elder abuse concerns but these rose to over 100 in October.
OPAN is receiving funding of $27.5 million over three years to provide the National Aged Care Advocacy Program and has been provided with an additional $3 million to expand its work on elder abuse.
As part of the More Choices for a Longer Life Budget package the Government is providing an additional $22 million to a variety of services, to tackle elder abuse.
The funding will include the establishment of trials of specialist elder abuse units in legal services, more support for family counselling and mediation services, and the advancement of health-justice partnerships.
A national plan to co-ordinate activities to combat elder abuse is also currently being developed.
Stopping the abuse of our elders – be it financial physical or emotional - is everyone’s responsibility and we owe it to senior Australians to ensure they are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Senior Australians, their families or carers in need of aged care advocacy should go to the OPAN website or call 1800 700 600.
Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.