The Australian government has launched a national elder abuse awareness campaign, coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
The campaign has been launched by the Morrison government to not only bring awareness to the issue but to protect the health and wellbeing of older Australians and keep them safe from elder abuse.
Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the campaign will highlight the significant social issue and help those who are at risk of experiencing elder abuse to take action and seek support. Support can be accessed by calling 1800 ELDERHelp and through the elder abuse knowledge hub at Compass.info.
The government funds a range of frontline service providers across all states and territories to combat elder abuse, which include specialist elder abuse units, case management and mediation services and health justice partnership services.
The government also funds the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), which provides free, confidential and independent advocacy support to those receiving government-funded aged care services. This month, as part of a new approach to preventing the abuse of older Australians, OPAN launched a new online training package for health and allied health professionals.
The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck said that training was a key element of protecting the vulnerable from elder abuse.
“Australia’s health and allied health professionals provide essential services to older Australians. They are on the front line, and as trusted advisors to older Australians it is vital they are trained to spot the signs of elder abuse and have the appropriate tools and information and they need to act,” he said.
“Training health professionals is another safeguard the government has introduced to protect older Australians.”
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash (pictured) added that the campaign will provide extra resources for older Australians and that there is always help available.
“We know elder abuse occurs, yet many people are afraid to report it, are not aware of it, or cannot identify it,” she said.
“We want older Australians to know there is help available, you have the right to live free from elder abuse.”