World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020

 07 May 2020

older woman on phone

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is recognised each year on 15 June and this year there’s an increased concern from groups like Seniors Rights Victoria that there could be more cases of Elder Abuse in the community as a hidden impact of the COVID-19 emergency.

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.

The current situation with COVID-19 means events for the 2020 awareness day won’t involve social gatherings, public information sessions or morning teas however there are lots of resources available online and in print that people can access to find out more about elder abuse and how to get help.

This year the Civic Centre in Glen Waverley will be lit up purple – the colour associated with elder abuse awareness – on Monday 15 June.

Seniors Rights Victoria Helpline (free): 1300 368 821 (10am–5pm Monday–Friday) or phone Council’s social inclusion team on 9518 3555 for more information on resources.

Case study

When Uncle Zac let his alcoholic daughter, Gina move into his home, I was very concerned. I decided to visit more regularly, so that he knew I was there if he wanted to talk.

At first Zac said Gina was good company and as his eyesight was failing, he needed her to drive him to medical appointments and to the local shops.

Eventually Zac confided in me that Gina was not paying for her share of household expenses and that she charged Zac $50 every time she drove him around.

He could no longer afford a trip to the doctor. We rang Seniors Rights Victoria together. The staff spoke to Zac about applying for half-priced taxi fares, as well as his safety and care needs.

Gina is still living there, because that’s what Zac wanted, but now, he has his independence back. He is linked in with various community services and has a safety plan in case things go wrong.

The best thing is that both Zac and Gina now know that if any further problems arise, help for Zac is just a phone call away.

Source: Senior Rights Victoria


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