Author Archives: SeniorsRightsVictoria

Our Practice – The Helpline

There has been a substantial increase in calls to the Seniors Rights Victoria confidential telephone helpline which provides information, support and referrals on weekdays from 10am to 5pm (excluding public holidays and between Christmas and New Year’s Day).

In 2016–17, the helpline service received 3379 calls (2696 previous year), of which 3285 were related to elder abuse or associated issues.

Women made up more than 75 per cent of all callers. However, we recognise that elder abuse can affect all older persons and cater our services accordingly. read more

Elder abuse prevention network milestone

Seniors Rights Victoria recently led an interagency workshop about elder abuse as part of the Elder Abuse Prevention Network (EAPN) project, one of the Victorian Government’s preventative responses to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The Victorian Government is funding the establishment of 10 elder abuse networks to collaborate at a community level and focus on the prevention of elder abuse. Seniors Rights Victoria is supporting this work by conducting research on the project which began with the workshop and will continue until February 2019. read more

Case study – Judy’s Story

Judy*, in her 70s, lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. She has two adult children, Rosemary and Jeremy. Three years ago Jeremy moved back in with Judy after the breakdown of his own relationship. He shares the care of his six-year-old daughter Claire with his former partner.

At the time, Jeremy did not work and he became verbally abusive towards Judy when she suggested he look for a job and contribute to the household expenses.

Judy found Jeremy’s behaviour increasingly threatening but because she was concerned for Claire’s welfare she was reluctant to take any action. As Jeremy’s behaviour escalated Judy no longer saw her other grandchildren or had friends come to visit. read more

Federal launch of Elder Abuse Action Australia

The Federal Government celebrated International Day of Older Persons in October by announcing funding for a national elder abuse prevalence study, increased training for professionals and the public and a new elder abuse peak body.

The initiatives are part of the Government’s $15 million election commitment to leading a national agenda to address elder abuse in Australia.

Attorney-General George Brandis is establishing a national peak body, Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA), to support the national coordination and advocacy of issues related to prevention of elder abuse with $250,000 funding per annum for two years. read more

Conference to showcase Seniors Rights Victoria expertise

Seniors Rights Victoria has been confirmed to do some of the presentations at the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference being held in Sydney early next year.

Seniors Rights Victoria’s Principal Lawyer Rebecca Edwards and Community Lawyer Tabitha O’Shea will present The Gift that Keeps Giving: Evidence and Practice Issues in Bringing Financial Elder Abuse Claims.

The legal team will explain how making a claim based on financial elder abuse is riddled with complexity.  As courts presume that a transfer of property or money from an older person to an adult child is a gift, the burden of proving otherwise falls on the older person.  The presentation address issues of how to prove such a claim and will provide an understanding of working with older persons and the feelings of anger, shame and guilt that may arise when confronting a loved one in an adversarial setting. read more

Telechat launches in Alpine community

Seniors Rights Victoria has welcomed the introduction of a Telechat Program in the Victorian Alpine region to provide regular telephone calls to people who may benefit from a weekly social chat.

The Telechat Program is when friendly volunteers phone participants at an agreed time, generally once a week, to share conversation and catch up.

The service was recently launched in Bright by Gerard Mansour, the Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Mr Mansour highlighted how a small action such as a weekly telephone call from a Telechat volunteer can help break down the isolation experienced by older people living in rural areas so they remain connected and included in their community. read more

Hellos and goodbyes

Eastern Community Legal Centre’s Partnership Coordinator Kaz McKay recently finished up in her role after more than seven years of championing elder abuse prevention in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Kaz began the role as one of nine elder abuse prevention coordinators across the state, eventually gaining funding from Senior Rights Victoria for a partnership approach to support professional service providers seeking to prevent this form of family violence in that broad community.

Kaz said when she first began to unpack the experience of people with a family member being abused it soon became evident that the older person’s network was a vital tool to monitor a situation and provide more support structures. read more

Free Community Forum: ‘Older, Wiser and in Control: Respecting Seniors’ Rights’

Seniors Rights Victoria, Bayside City Council and St Leonard’s Uniting Church are pleased to present an open discussion about elder abuse – the signs, prevention and resources for seniors, family and community members.

Sunday August 27th, 2.00 – 3.30pm

St Leonard’s Uniting Church, 2 Wolseley Grove, Brighton

This is a free event, but please register at contact@stleonards.org.au.

Click here for a copy of the flyer.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum – 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: read more