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Friday, December 1, 2023

New Vic resource to help aged care staff recognise and respond to elder abuse

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The Victorian Government is boosting training for aged care staff to help them recognise the signs of elder abuse, and how to deal with it.

Speaking today at a State Government 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.

“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,” he said.

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

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.

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

“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,” Donnellan said.

“Elder abuse prevention and early intervention is critical.”

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 per cent 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 10am-5pm weekdays on 1300 368 821.

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