Category Archives: Legal

Elder abuse service celebrates 10 year milestone

Seniors Rights Victoria, an elder abuse service based on the advocacy-social worker/lawyer model is this year celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a celebration on Thursday 4 October.

Guest speakers will include Victorian Commissioner for Seniors and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Gerard Mansour and Seniors Rights’ peer educator Jennifer Evans.

A visionary Victorian State Government initiative, Seniors Rights Victoria was established by the Victorian Government in 2008 following the review conducted by ex-Senator Barney Cooney. In that year the State Government adopted a state-wide elder abuse strategy – the first state in Australia to do so! read more

Elder abuse service pilots dementia project

Seniors Rights Victoria is pleased to announce it has received funding from the Department of Justice and Regulation to partner with Dementia Australia (DA) for a pilot series of legal information sessions and clinics in Victoria. Advocacy is an integral component of the project to ensure a holistic response to the non-legal needs of participants.

The sessions and clinics combined will enable people who have been recently diagnosed with dementia to plan ahead and to make informed choices about their future financial, health or care arrangements, as well as to put those choices into an appropriate legal format. The pilot project will run for a year. read more

National community legal conference includes elder abuse

Seniors Rights Victoria principal lawyer Rebecca Edwards joined a panel discussion about elder abuse at the National Association of Community Legal Centres conference hosted last month.

Ms Edwards highlighted the story of elder abuse on the frontline, including the benefits of an integrated legal and advocacy social support model, as is used by Seniors Rights Victoria, to assist people experiencing elder abuse.

Other panellists included:

  • Susan Ryan AO, the former Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner who provided a broad national context for elder abuse, including discussing the prevalence of elder abuse, its roots in stereotyping, discrimination and ageism, and an expansive view of Commonwealth actions and opportunities.
  • Russell Westacott, Seniors Rights Service NSW CEO who provided a timeline summary of elder abuse in the national context over the past 10 years, including a discussion of the development of the proposed National Plan, creation of Elder Abuse Action Australia and current funding opportunities.
  • Megan King, a lawyer at Seniors Law, Justice Connect, is based at St Vincent’s hospital in Melbourne. Megan described the three different elder abuse health justice partnerships run by Justice Connect and the differences between them; one in a community health setting, one in an acute hospital setting and one in a sub-acute hospital setting.

Ms Edwards said her talk focused on recognising that elder abuse often occurs in the context of a complex matrix of psychosocial and legal issues. For example, when the abuser is the victim’s child, the parent is often torn between their own abusive situation and their legal rights, and the desire to care for and support their adult child. read more

Legal Matters & Ageing Forum

Take the chance to ask the experts about some of the most common legal issues affecting older people at this free community event being hosted on Tuesday, 16 October, at Safety Beach Community Centre, from 10:30am-1pm.

Topics to be covered include: medical decision-making law and recent changes, retirement villages, aged care, wills and elder abuse.

Guest speakers are:
John Corcoran AM, Russell Kennedy Lawyers;
Gary Ferguson, Seniors Rights Victoria;
William Betts, Peninsula Community Legal Centre. read more

National EA Conference – The Gift That Keeps on

Seniors Rights Victoria held a workshop on financial elder abuse as part of this year’s national Elder Abuse Conference hosted by the NSW-based Seniors Rights Service in Sydney last month.

Seniors Rights Victoria Principal Lawyer Rebecca Edwards and Community Lawyer Tabitha O’Shea presented the case study of Linda, a single, retired academic aged in her 70s, who had agreed to sell her house and contribute 50 per cent, a total of $500,000, to the purchase of a home by her daughter Gina and Gina’s family, husband Mike and two sons. The plan was that Linda would live in a self-contained section of the house. Sadly, once the move was made Linda was subjected to increasing verbal abuse and threats to kick her out of the home. read more

Legal changes for medical treatment and guardianship

Victorians can now plan ahead for medical treatment to ensure their wishes are followed and their values considered when decisions are made on medical treatment after they lose medical decision-making capacity.

To understand more click Law Institute Victoria Law Institute’s Planning Ahead article.

In other legal updates the Victorian Government introduced new laws this week to better protect the rights of adults with disability to make and participate in decisions that affect their lives. The newly Guardianship and Administration Bill 2018 will replace 1986 laws to define decision-making capacity, including a presumption that a person has the capacity to make decisions unless evidence is provided otherwise. read more

Panel – Safeguarding the End of the Rainbow

COTA Victoria and Transgender Victoria bring you a panel discussion on the issues to consider in planning for the future by LGBTI communities. If you are a member of the LGBTI community, work in the area or are just interested in the issues, please come along to this dynamic discussion.

When: Mon 15 May, 9.00 am to 11.00 am
Where: Maddocks, The Boardroom on Level 25, 727 Collins St, Melbourne.

To book call 1300 13 50 90 or email avidyasagar@cotavic.org.au. See flyer for more details.

Free ‘Legal Matters and Ageing’ forum for seniors

Making an Enduring Power of Attorney can help give you choice and control about how your affairs are handled into the future as you age. Seniors Rights Victoria will cover all aspects of Enduring Powers of Attorney at this free Law Week  forum hosted by U3A.

Bookings essential, call Denise on 0439 321 250 by 15 May. See the flyer for more information.

When: 18 May 2017, 1.00 -2.30 pm
Where: Ballarat North Community Centre,  702 Walker Street, North Ballarat

Welcome to new staff

Seniors Rights Victoria is delighted to welcome two new members to the team this month.

Melanie Joosten is our new Policy Officer and her focus is on developing Seniors Rights Victoria policy on elder abuse in the context of family violence and the ongoing reforms resulting from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Melanie comes to us from the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) where for the past 5 years she has been contributing to research on health promotions, and more recently, elder abuse. The elder abuse research at NARI was done in collaboration with Seniors Rights Victoria and drew on our growing body of data about abuse of older people. read more