An awareness-raising project that’s close to home

Caption: Our picture shows: Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians; Gary Ferguson, Community Education Coordinator, Seniors Rights Victoria; Beryl Garrow, Barbara Yeoman, Alwyn Couch (Social Support Group members Timboon and District Healthcare Service); and Becky Nevin Berger, elder abuse prevention worker.

Seniors Rights Victoria was proud to help launch Timboon and District Healthcare Service’s new elder abuse prevention project, Warm Safe Home. The project focuses on one of our most treasured places, our home, in order to raise awareness of elder abuse.

The Warm Safe Home Project uses art making to start conversations about elder abuse. People throughout south west Victoria are making little paper houses to spread the message that everyone has the right to live free from violence and fear.

Participants include kinder and school students, artists, seniors, and carer support groups. The 500 completed houses will be installed en masse in Warrnambool’s largest shopping centre, Gateway Plaza, for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 2020.

Elder abuse prevention worker Rebecca Nevin Berger said that our home is the key to our sense of safety.

‘When elder abuse occurs, however, the home can become a place of danger,’ she said.

Participants are asked to write a message on their completed house in response to questions such as ‘What does a warm safe home mean to you?’, ‘What was it about your grandparent’s house that made you feel safe and loved?’, and ‘What do you wish people understood about older people?’.

Rebecca has also begun working with Men’s Sheds, whose members will make larger timber houses suitable for outdoor installation which will help to raise intrigue about the campaign.

Rebecca has also posted a couple of initial images on Instagram with the hashtags: #warmsafehomeproject #elderabuseprevention #elderabuseawareness.