Elder abuse is despicable, for most of us it is unimaginable and unfathomable, and yet it is scarily common, with one in six older Australians reporting an experience of abuse in the last 12 months.
According to the 2021 National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), psychological abuse is most common, experienced by 12 per cent of older Australians, followed by neglect (3 per cent), financial abuse (2 per cent), physical abuse (2 per cent) and sexual abuse (1 per cent).
These sobering statistics provoke the question: what can we do to better identify and aid those most at risk?
As the national voice for ending elder abuse, Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA), together with their partner initiative Compass, is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, September 8, bringing together experts from across the community to discuss how to identify the key risk factors and the early warning signs that are associated with the abuse and neglect of older people.
Moderated by former award-winning ABC journalist, Philippa McDonald, the panel will comprise a range of expert on the issue, including:
- Tilé Imo, a senior lawyer at Caxton Legal Centre Inc. and Older Persons Advocacy and Legal Service (OPALS). OPALS is Queensland’s first health justice partnership providing free legal and social work assistance to older people experiencing, or at risk of, elder abuse
- Sonia Di Mezza, a human rights lawyer and CEO of Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services. Di Mezza has managed human rights projects including legal aid in Sudan and Pakistan for Afghan refugee widowed women, as a resettlement officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon. She has also worked as a refugee lawyer in Australian immigration detention centres.
- Sonia Colvin founder of Hairdressers with Hearts, a not-for-profit organisation that takes a proactive, community-led approach against domestic violence and elder abuse.
Guided by the insights from these expert panellists, attendees will learn about the risk factors for elder abuse as well as how to identify the early warning signs.
The common behaviours of perpetrators and the classic tactics that are used will be unveiled, and attendees will be empowered with a toolkit of appropriate ways to respond if they experience abuse personally, or are witness to the abuse of someone close to them.
EAAA’s Recognising Elder Abuse webinar will be hosted on Thursday September 8 from 12:30pm-1.30pm AEDT.
Follow this link to register.
This webinar follows on from previous EAAA webinars covering when and how to create an Enduring Power of Attorney, as well as how to prevent financial abuse.
More about EAAA
The Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) is the national advocate for eliminating elder abuse.
Funded by the Attorney General’s office, EAAA aims to address elder abuse and protect the rights of older Australians at both the grassroots and macro level.
Compass is an initiative developed by EAAA, providing a range of online resource aiding elders and their carers to act upon elder abuse.
To find out more, visit the EAAA website via this link.