Free information session to raise awareness of elder abuse
A free information session in Broadford next month will shine a light on a growing problem in society - elder abuse.
Elder abuse is any act which harms an older person and is usually carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend.
The abuse can be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect. In most cases elder abuse is an intergenerational form of family violence.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is marked on 15 June each year.
According to data from the National Ageing Research Institute, 81 per cent of a group of seniors surveyed in 2015 had experienced financial or psychological/emotional abuse.
This year, Mitchell Shire Council is hosting a free information session on Tuesday 19 June to raise awareness about elder abuse.
The event is from 11am-12.30pm at the Broadford Hall (18 Murchison Street) and will cover information about what you can do to prevent elder abuse, how to get help, identifying the warning signs and assistance and support available through Senior Rights Victoria.
Seniors Rights Victoria Manager Jenny Blakey said warning signs of elder abuse may include an older person seeming fearful, anxious or isolated.
“There may be injuries, or an absence of personal care. Disappearance of possessions, unexplained financial transactions, and changes to a will, property title or other documents are also of concern,” Ms Blakey said.
“While the mistreatment of an older person may be carried out by one family member, it is often other family members who are best placed to support their parent or grandparent against the abuse, provided they recognise what is happening.
“Like other forms of family violence, most elder abuse occurs behind closed doors, so it is important for loved ones to watch out for signs, listen and offer help.”
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said elder abuse was an important issue to highlight.
“This is a social issue which affects the health, wellbeing, independence and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of all in the community,” Cr Sanderson said.
“The good news is that there are actions you can take if you are suffering from elder abuse or if you know someone who is, and this information session is the perfect chance to find out more about what assistance is available.”
Bookings are essential and can be made by Friday 15 June at www.elder-abuse-awareness-session-2018.eventbrite.com.
For help booking, contact Council’s Community Development team on 5734 6200.
If you or a friend or family member is experiencing elder abuse, help is available by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 or visiting www.seniorsrights.org.au.