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Media Release – WEAAD 2019

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Seniors Rights Victoria highlights links between mental health and elder abuse.

June 15 is designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It highlights one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

This year, WEAAD coincides with the Victorian Government’s Royal Commission into Mental Health.

“Elder abuse and mental health are interlinked, with elder abuse having devastating psychological effects on an older person, including depression and anxiety. This, in turn, can lead to social isolation, a significant risk factor for further abuse,” said Jenny Blakey, Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) Manager. read more

WEAAD 2019

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

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.

WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. Rates of elder abuse are under reported, but the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14 per cent of older people in Australia are affected. read more

Elder Abuse: Everyone’s business

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

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.

WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. According to the World Health Organisation, prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries – ranging from 1 to 10 per cent. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious.

Individuals, communities, municipalities and organisations will come together across the globe to hold events on 15 June that raise awareness of elder abuse. These activities are often hosted with the aim of bringing greater recognition of the mistreatment of older adults wherever they live throughout the world and to highlight the need for appropriate action.

Seniors Rights Victoria Manager Jenny Blakey said there was a growing acknowledgement of elder abuse as a form of family violence.

“Just as respectful relationships within families help prevent family violence, respect for older family members is a primary protection against elder abuse, particularly when it comes to a family’s financial arrangements,” Ms Blakey said.

In Victoria, Australia, you are welcome to register your event on Senior Rights Victoria’s WEAAD website. Support your event with promotion material by using the WEAAD Toolkit which includes free image downloads to use as holding slides, email banners and social media prompts. Feel free to customise request for media coverage using our generic media release.

Seniors Rights Victoria is a state-wide specialist elder abuse service that provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people. View information on their website is www.seniorsrights.org.au or contact the free, confidential Helpline: 1300 368 821.

Community Rallies to Stop Elder Abuse

On 15 June 2017, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we stood together as a community in saying “we can stop elder abuse”.

Seniors Rights Victoria and the Office of Public Advocate hosted a booked-out forum at Melbourne Town Hall, at which the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, launched (via video link) the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report ‘Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response’. We welcomed the release of the Report and commend the Australian Government on recognising the need for this Inquiry, which will provide a strong foundation for future action.

We were pleased to see so many communities coming together to celebrate the rights of older people and raise awareness about elder abuse. In Victoria alone, more than 40 events took place, with the support of local councils, public libraries, community legal centres, neighbourhood houses, aged care facilities, health services and other organisations. Awareness of elder abuse was also raised through print media, radio, television and social media.

We thank all of the organisations and individuals who “went purple” on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to support the rights of older people to live safely and with dignity.

Each year, Seniors Rights Victoria receives thousands of enquiries from people experiencing elder abuse or worried about someone they know. Elder abuse, a type of family violence, includes any act which harms an older person and is carried out by someone they trust such as an adult child, family member, partner, carer or friend. For free, confidential help, call Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821.

Pictured: Seniors Rights Victoria staff at the WEAAD 2017 Forum at Melbourne Town Hall

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum 2017 – Safeguarding Older Australians

June 15 2017 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Victorian Office of the Public Advocate and Seniors Rights Victoria invite you to a free 2017 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum in Melbourne on Thursday 15 June.

At the forum, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, Attorney-General, will launch the Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into ‘Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse’.

We will also hear from key presenters:

  • President of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM; and
  • Hon. Dr. Kay Patterson AO, Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner.

Part two of the forum will help you gain a practical understanding of how some key organisations are responding to elder abuse. Our lively and interactive Q&A panel will include:

  • Tina Douvos Stathopoulos, CEO of PRONIA;
  • Jenny Blakey, Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria;
  • Sgt Alasdair Gall, Eastern Family Violence Unit, Victoria Police;
  • Meghan O’Brien, Team Leader – Rehabilitation Acute Link Team, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne; and
  • Dr John Chesterman, Director of Strategy, Office of the Public Advocate.
  • read more

    New report for WEAAD: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”

    o_198okndn36lc16bgslvdj51kfsmThe Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse

    On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) the National Ageing Research Institute and Senior’s Rights Victoria  released  their new report: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”.

    The study aimed to better understand the older person’s experience of elder abuse, the interventions used to address elder abuse and the outcome of the intervention for ex-clients who contacted Seniors Rights Victoria. It makes for very interesting and informative reading, and is the only Australian study we know of that looks at elder abuse from older peoples’ perspective. The report also contains recommendations, formed from the advice of the courageous participants, which will be of great use to both older people and policy-makers alike.

    WEAAD 2016 – Whitehorse City Council

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    For WEAAD 2016, Whitehorse City Council, in partnership with Celebrate Ageing, undertook the “My Cosy Project ”, whereby adults share things they love about their own ageing.

    We asked people from various community groups (e.g. Neighbourhood Houses and U3A Nunawading) to write down what they liked about ageing and encouraged people to wear purple. We also had three delicious purple cakes made for Council staff and PAG participants at Mountain View Cottage.

     

    WEAAD 2016 – Mildura Rural City Council

    World Elder Absue Expo 2 17062016 World Elder Abuse Expo 17062016 We lit up some buildings in purple on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and also held a Mini Expo in the mall on Friday that was very successful. We spoke to many people about Elder Abuse as well as services that are available and where to get more information. We also had some people come specifically to get information and support as they had seen the advertising for WEAAD.See our Media.

     

    WEAAD 2016 – Yarra Ranges Council

    YRCThis year there were many ‘We can stop elder abuse’ awareness raising activities throughout the Yarra Ranges Council including purple biscuits created by Tasty Az catering. Information flyers, purple ribbons and bookmarks were available for residents and staff. On 15 June, Leading Senior Constable Linda Hancock presented at Council’s “We can stop elder abuse’ lunch. She provided data on reported elder abuse in Yarra Ranges and the Yarra Ranges Police Community Safety Register. Yarra Ranges Council’s You Tube clip for WEAAD has been praised widely for it’s innovative nature.

    WEAAD 2016 – Knox City Council

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    At Knox we had a display board in our main reception area and all counter staff had ribbons and leaflets to distribute during the week.  The WEAAD information was also shown on the LCD screen behind reception and on the KCC website homepage, and a message was included on our on-hold call service.

    We also distributed around 500 ribbons and leaflets to staff and posted WEAAD facts every day for a week on our Intranet.  We held a Morning Tea at the Civic Centre, with 500 purple themed biscuits and had a ‘best dressed in purple’ award. We also put up a display in the Active Ageing and Disability Services Department. The Active Communities Team held a presentation by a representative of Seniors Rights Victoria at the Bayswater Senior Citizens Centre and also promoted awareness of the issue during their Planned Activity Groups.

    We worked closely with our Communications Team to connect with the community and raise awareness of elder abuse via social media.  The promotion included: five Twitter posts; four Facebook posts, with a total of 22 likes and 7 shares; and an Instagram post, with 23 likes.  The Mayor of Knox City Council, Cr Tony Holland, was also quoted talking about elder abuse in LG Focus (Australia’s National Local Government Online Newspaper).