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Friday, June 21, 2024

New training to help stamp out elder abuse

The Victorian Government is boosting training for aged care staff to help them recognise the signs of elder abuse, and step in to stop it.

Speaking yesterday at the Victorian Government’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan announced a new training program to assist aged care staff to recognise and respond to elder abuse in residential aged care.

The resources were developed by the Victorian Healthcare Association through funding of $215,950 and include four video training modules with information, scenarios and recommended actions relevant to residential aged care.

“Elder abuse sadly continues to affect many older Victorians – so it is vital aged care staff are well-trained to recognise the signs and step in,” the Minister said.

“We need to continue to look out for each other – but particularly older members of our community who may be feeling more isolated or vulnerable during the pandemic. Elder abuse prevention and early intervention is critical.” 

“This new resource will give staff working in aged care the confidence to recognise and respond to incidents of elder abuse.”  

Developed in consultation with a range of subject matter experts, including practitioner and consumer representatives, he said the resources used best practice to build a safe environment for residents. 

Elder abuse is a form of family violence and includes any act within a trusted relationship which results in harm to an older person. It can take many forms, including financial abuse. 

Research indicates that up to 14% of older people may be experiencing elder abuse – yet the real number may be much higher due to under-reporting – and with more people potentially feeling isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, there are concerns it may increase. 

Seniors Rights Victoria’s free confidential helpline provides support, referrals and legal advice for older people, and community education and support for professionals.

The helpline is open from 10:00am-5:00pm weekdays on 1300 368 821. 

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