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If you've got a smart phone you have all you need to take part in SRV's new video project.

Following on from the video series we produced in early 2021, about planning ahead, SRV are now launching a new video project that will reflect the times we live in. The new videos will focus on how we can support those close to us, if we find we need to make decisions on their behalf. The legal elements of these videos are linked to the Guardianship and Administration Act and will highlight how to be a supportive decision maker.

As we face continued lockdowns and social restrictions many of us are missing our loved ones more than ever. So we've decided to create this series of videos acknowledging these times. This means we are inviting video submissions from people throughout Victoria.

SRV wants to create videos that depict people of all ages, from diverse backgrounds, talking about what’s important to them and their loved ones. The videos will be edited together to share the rich and diverse stories of people in Victoria and then go on to explain the considerations and legalities of supported decision making.

If you'd like to participate: Please record yourself talking to camera. You can record yourself for a few seconds, for example talking about one thing that you are missing, or that is important to you or you can record yourself talking for a few minutes on a range of things.

Topics to talk about:

Shooting guide:

Remember, this can be fun/ funny, so please enjoy yourself.

If you have any questions or need any support recording your video please contact lbest@seniorsrights.org.au

Compass is a national website navigating elder abuse in Australia. Compass aims to create a national focus on elder abuse by raising awareness and connecting people to services and information tackling elder abuse.

Compass is hosting a free webinar that will help you identify the key risk factors and warning signs that are connected to the abuse of older people. Register here.

PREVENTING ELDER ABUSERESPONDING TO ELDER ABUSEUNDERSTANDING ELDER ABUSE

Join the conversation and have your questions answered.

Compass is bringing together experts from across the community, to help you identify the key risk factors and the early warning signs that are connected to the abuse of older people.

The webinar will highlight types of abuse, common behaviours of perpetrators and tactics that are used. The webinar will also identify ways you can respond if you are experiencing abuse or if you are a witness to abuse or suspect elder abuse is happening to someone you know.

  1. Learn about the risk factors connected with elder abuse
  2. Find out more about the warning signs connected to abuse
  3. Learn about the people and supports you can turn to, things you can do, and resources you can access.
  4. Find out what you can do, and the best ways to respond if you are concerned about someone else

Panellists

Moderator

Register here

A parliamentary enquiry into support for older Victorians has a number of key recommendations to tackle elder abuse for older Victorians from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

The Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee has tabled its report, which includes dozens of suggested ways to help improve the lives of culturally diverse seniors.

The Committee has made 76 recommendations in total, urging the Victorian Government to:·      

COTA Victoria made a submission that included 15 recommendations, many of which are reflected in the final report. Notably:

The Committee also advocates for various initiatives to increase the financial, health and digital literacy of multicultural elders and calls for the expansion of activities to reduce social isolation.

The full report and an Easy English summary are available to read on the Committee’s website.

Watch a video summary and snapshots of evidence provided at public hearings on YouTube

A new resource is now available for financial service organisations: 'Supporting Women’s Financial Safety: A Guide to Prevention and Action on Financial Abuse within the Financial Service Sector'.

The guide has been produced thanks to research conducted by Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University, South East Community Links (SECL) and Good Shepherd ANZ. It also includes input from financial counsellors. Development of the guide was funded by the Office for Women within The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

The guide includes simple checklists to help recognise, understand, prevent and address financial abuse. There is a focus on prevention of financial abuse, as well as a response for when abuse occurs.

The guide will be helpful for:

Read the complete guide.

Your Health in Your Hands is a digital health literacy program delivered by Good Things Foundation Australia in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). The program is designed to improve people’s uptake and confidence using My Health Record, supporting them to gain the essential digital skills and confidence to manage their health and wellbeing.

Digital Health Webinar Series

Between July and October Good Things Foundation will be be piloting a series of webinars specifically for older Australians, carers and aged care staff in regional, remote and rural communities.

They will be covering topics such as:

Find the full webinar schedule and sign-up

Aged Care Justice, a not-for-profit providing legal assistance to elders facing systemic abuses, issued a statement against the restrictive practices bill.

Schedule 9, section 54-11 within a list of amendments to the Aged Care Act 1997, presented to parliament last week by aged care minister Anika Wells, offers legal immunity to aged care providers and workers administering restrictive practices in ‘certain circumstances’.

Aged Care Justice's statement highlights that the bill places no boundaries on people who may be authorised to give informed consent on behalf of aged care residents, who no longer have decision making capacity. In many instances a representative called upon to make decisions would be a trusted family member. However decisions can also be decided by a state-appointed guardian.

Aged Care Justice president Bryan Keon Cohen AM QC foresees a number of disturbing outcomes if the bill passes in its current form.

“The Principles can be varied by the responsible minister without any requirement to ensure that the class of persons capable of providing vicarious consent is consistent with, or supportive of, the rights of aged care residents,” he says.  

“If enacted, this legislation may well result in an increase in abuses uncovered by the aged care royal commission. For example, aged care residents classified as ‘difficult’ could be restrained without their families knowing."

Aged Care Justice is a not-for-profit group of volunteers, incorporated in Victoria pursuant to the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. Established in October 2020, by senior legal and medical professionals. Aged Care Justice’s Chairman is Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen, AM QC, a member of the Victorian Bar, now retired, and is supported by other voluntary Board members.

Aged Care Justice’s core mission is ultimately to secure and improve the lives of residents of aged care. The crisis revealed by the Royal Commission into Aged Care points to the urgent need for action.

Read more about Aged Care Justice's concerns about restrictive practices.

Advance Care Planning Australia LearningTM supports health practitioners, care workers, students, individuals and substitute decision-makers to learn about advance care planning. Their program is funded by the Australian Government.

Visit Advance Care Planning Australia LearningTM On the website you will find learning modules, webinars and resources to increase your knowledge and skills in advance care planning. You can complete 1 or more modules. ACPA LearningTM resources are available at no cost. They are designed for health practitioners, care workers, students, individuals or substitute decision makers.

At the completion of each module you can access a certificate as a record of your learning. 

To get started you will need to register.

Free online learning for substitute decision-makers

Making medical decisions for someone else can be difficult. If you’re making decisions for family or loved ones, or have been appointed as a substitute decision-maker, ACPA Learning's free online learning module can help you feel better prepared.
Covering helpful information and tips, the module can be accessed anywhere, any time on a computer, smart phone or tablet and takes only 30 minutes to complete.

Empower yourself and sign up to ACPA Learning today.

What do you do at SRV?

I work part-time in the roles of Education Administrator and WEAAD Administrator. I support our Education Coordinator, Gary Ferguson, with scheduling upcoming community and professional education talks, liaising with the team of Volunteer Peer Educators, organising travel arrangements and ensuring each talk is provided with enough SRV printed resources. For example, brochures, booklets, help sheets, and tip sheets, on various aspects of elder abuse prevention and support.
My role as part-time WEAAD Administrator is just for three months of the year. I look after the admin tasks, such as coordinating the updating of merchandise and printed materials, then packaging them up and sending them out to organisations all over Victoria. I do the updates to the WEAAD website. I assist with scheduling the many WEAAD-related community and professional education talks and presentations given by the SRV Education team across Victoria. I also organise the admin side of SRV’s flagship WEAAD event, ‘Stir a Cuppa with Seniors’. Gary focuses on theme, content and speakers, while I organise the venue, catering, set up and technical side of things as well as manage the invitations and guest list.

How long have you worked at SRV? 

I first joined SRV in 2017 as part-time Administrator for a few months, prior to SRV and COTA leaving the Block Arcade offices. I then returned in 2019 in the same role, then moved across to be Education Administrator. I also hold another part-time role within COTA Victoria as Administrator for the Aged Care System Navigation team.

What do you like most about your role? 

I really enjoy working with Gary Ferguson and the team of Peer Educators who are such passionate, smart, warm and wonderful people. As are the whole team at SRV.

What would we most likely find you doing in your spare time? 

Writing, reading, gardening and playing the piano are all things I love to do. But truth be told I’m also likely to also be found sleeping in, scrolling Instagram and Pinterest, or watching Netflix!

Facts

Grandparents often have a special bond with their grandchildren, and this can sometimes be overlooked in parenting disputes. 

Linda was very close to her eight-year-old twin granddaughters. Her daughter, Kathleen, had separated from the girls’ father, Pete, when the girls were young, and they shared custody. When it was Kathleen’s time with the girls, Linda would supervise them every second weekend.  

Because Kathleen experienced ongoing drug and mental health issues, the Family Court ordered that Pete should have sole custody. Concerned for his daughters, Pete had stopped them from seeing their mother altogether. This meant that Linda and her husband were unable to see their grandchildren. 

Considerations

Linda contacted SRV, wanting to re-establish contact and communication with her grandchildren. On her behalf, Seniors Rights Victoria sent a letter to Pete, explaining that Linda was keen to continue her relationship with her grandchildren and proposing visit and phone call times. 

Pete and his partner, Zoe, eventually agreed on the terms. This meant that Linda was able to remain involved with her grandchildren through fortnightly calls and some face-to-face visits. 

If you, or someone you know, is a grandparent in need of some support you may find our new Grandparenting Help Sheet useful. It includes information on where to obtain support and advice on the issues that a grandparent might face.

You can also call the SRV Helpline on 1300 368 821

Our Watch and Senior Rights Victoria have produced a new resource for practitioners seeking to build their knowledge and practice on preventing violence against older women.
The new booklet provides an opportunity to increase your understanding and knowledge of:

Download the brochure here.

For for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2022, on Wednesday the 15th of June, Seniors Rights Victoria hosted our flagship event, Stir a Cuppa with Seniors. The event was held at the City of Melbourne Bowls Club in Flagstaff Gardens.

Gerard Mansour, Ambassador for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the Commissioner for Victorian Seniors, facilitated a panel discussion. The panel included Dr. Marlene Krasovitsky, Co-Chair and Director of EveryAGE Counts campaign, SRV volunteer Joe Caruso, radio host and community leader, Rena Frangioudaki, and Adonis Antonios Maglis from Pronia.

At the event SRV officially released our new grandparenting Help Sheet.

To celebrate the importance of intergenerational relationships SRV's Education Co-ordinator, Gary Ferguson, interviewed two young people about their grandparents. We heard about the unique and positive relationship children can have with their grandparents.

The event was live streamed on Facebook and you can watch the recording here.

Visit our Elder Abuse Awareness Day website. There you'll find more about WEAAD as well as ideas, resources, and tools for you to get involved and join us in promoting the rights of older people. Promoting these rights is a key way to prevent elder abuse occurring in our communities.

Resources in other languages

Our colleagues at The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) have developed bookmarks and posters in 20 languages to raise awareness of the issue of elder abuse.

All 20 language versions will be available to download on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), Wednesday 15 June 2022.

Download resources here

Hume City Council WEAAD morning tea

SRV's Education Co-ordinator, Gary Ferguson, attended a WEAAD morning tea, provided by Hume City Council. Gary presented to the crowd of over 100 people, to help them understand elder abuse, their rights and how to prevent and respond to abuse.

After the presentation, Seniors Rights Victoria was informed that one person, who was in attendance, was enabled to stop their family members’ bullying by indicating they would contact the Helpline. Knowledge can be power!

Gary Ferguson presenting at Hume City Council's WEAAD morning tea

WEAAD around the world

SRV was contacted by The Frederick Douglass Senior Center in New York, about their WEAAD event.
They held a presentation pertaining to elder abuse and conducted a “Stir a cuppa with seniors” event. They sent us this great photo collage, displaying some of their seniors with their cups of tea and suggestions on how to stop elder abuse. What a great initiative.

If you had a WEAAD event and want to share your photos with us please email lbest@seniorsrights.org.au

Call
If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If it is an emergency, call 000.
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