Older people benefit from local abuse prevention campaign
Older people in the Northern Rivers region of NSW will benefit from a locally developed elder abuse prevention campaign launched by the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, on 12 June.
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12 June 2008
Older people in the Northern Rivers region of NSW will benefit from a locally developed Elder Abuse Prevention Campaign.
Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today officially launched the $149,041 project funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.
“The campaign consists of a specialised interagency manual for service providers within the aged care sector, television advertisement and community awareness brochures.
Mrs Elliot said the Northern Rivers Social Development Council, based in Lismore, had consulted over two years with service providers across the region and nationally with elder abuse response units to develop the manual.
“These resources will help individuals in the community and service providers to identify cases of abuse of older people. It will also give points of contact for people who may be experiencing abuse, or for people who know someone who is in that situation.
Mrs Elliot said there was increased public concern about elder abuse and its impact on the wellbeing of older people.
“Older Australians are among the most vulnerable in our community and have a right to protection from neglect as well as physical, emotional or financial abuse,” she said.
“As the Federal Minister for Ageing, my primary focus is to ensure older Australians in residential aged care receive full protection now and into the future,” she said.
“That is why I recently announced a range of tough measures to improve quality to protect frail and aged Australians. The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency has been instructed to undertake, from 1 July 2008, a record 7000 announced and unannounced visits to aged care homes across the nation to ensure compliance with quality standards.”
“Other measures the Rudd Government have taken to strengthen the current protocols and protections for residents of aged care homes include:
- expanding the requirement for staff to undergo police checks;
- strengthening the powers of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency - the independent agency which accredits aged care facilities;
- requiring departmental clinical staff to check on actual residents in a facility as a part of their investigations; and
- reviewing the Aged Care Act to close loopholes and make improvements to quality in aged care.
“The Rudd Government has made a firm commitment to continual improvement in aged care and I am working with providers and service deliverers to achieve the best outcomes possible for our older population.”
“Locally-driven campaigns backed by the Australian Government, like this one, are another great step forward in the care and protection of our seniors.”
If you, or someone you know, is the victim of elder abuse, contact the police, or if you are concerned about someone in residential aged care, call the Commonwealth Aged Care Complaints Investigation Scheme on 1800 550 552 (free call) so that the concerns can be properly investigated.
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280
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