Category Archives: COVID-19

Close up of an older woman's hands using a mobile phone.

Understanding the impact of COVID on older Victorians

Victoria had Australia’s longest COVID-19 lockdown last year and maintaining contact with older people was a priority for COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria during this time.

To better understand how the pandemic and lockdown may have affected elder abuse, Seniors Rights Victoria compared the calls its helpline received in 2020, with those received the year before.

In 2020, there were significant increases in calls about psychological abuse (748, up 32%); physical abuse (184, up 40%); and social abuse (170, up 21%). This correlates with data collected by the Crime Statistics Agency which showed an increase in elder abuse incidents attended by Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria. read more

COTA Victoria's survey 'Coronavirus - checking in on the older people's experience.

COTA Victoria’s survey of older Victorian’s COVID experiences

Both SRV and COTA Victoria quickly recognised that social isolation and fear about the COVID-19 pandemic would be serious issues for older people. However, it was also acknowledged that more research would need to be done to understand the impact of COVID-19 on older people and elder abuse.

COTA Victoria also conducted an online and telephone survey of older people aged mostly between 65 and 84. The primary aim of the survey was to ensure the voices of older people were included in public discussions about how to plan, manage and recover from natural disasters and community emergencies. read more

MEDIA RELEASE: Extra funding provided for Seniors Rights Victoria

Media Release | 25 June 2020

A total of $321,500 in funding over the next two years will help Seniors Right Victoria maintain services to older Victorians — especially those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — who are experiencing elder abuse.

Seniors Rights Victoria Manager Jenny Blakey welcomed the extra funding announced recently by the Victorian Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy.

‘On 9 May 2020, I was pleased to announce $17.5 million in additional funding to assist frontline legal assistance services in responding to COVID-19,’ Ms Hennessy said. read more

MEDIA RELEASE: Seniors Rights Victoria warns on financial abuse of seniors

Media Release | 28 April 2020

Seniors Rights Victoria today warned of the potential increase of elder abuse as a result of the economic and unemployment impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jenny Blakey, the Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria, said significant economic and emotional pressures on families who did not have funds to pay for their rent, mortgages or regular bills could heighten the risk of elder financial abuse of older people and the broader community.

Ms Blakey said financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of a person’s property, finances and other assets without their informed consent or where consent is obtained by fraud or manipulation. read more