Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) has been running a project as part of the Victorian Government's Integrated Services Fund (ISF), since 2018. Administered by the Federation of Community Legal Centres (FCLC), the ISF is special funding for projects that have an early intervention focus, as well as involving integrated services.
SRV's Planning Ahead Project helps people understand the need to plan ahead, in order to protect their rights and wishes as they get older, to reduce the risk of elder abuse. The project also supports carers and loved ones of people as they age, to ensure they understand how best to support them.
From 2018-2021 the project worked in partnership with Dementia Australia, to support people who had been recently diagnosed with dementia. Since 2021 the project has changed focus to connect with harder to reach communities, who may experience barriers to accessing information and/or legal advice.
In late 2021 we selected Ballarat as our pilot regional area to work in. We wanted to identify the priority goals for those working and connecting with older people, so that we could ensure the project supported existing work. We held a forum with 19 attendees from community groups and service providers. We also collected online responses to a survey. This work identified that the priority goals in Ballarat were:
As a result of identifying those goals our service offering has been:
SRV has begun engagement in Shepparton, Mildura and Bendigo, whilst still working with service providers and community organisations in Ballarat. We have been able to comfortably work and connect with providers and organisations in multiple places concurrently.
We are currently developing a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training model for lawyers and real estate agents, along with a new Tip Sheet about understanding and reducing the risk of abuse of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOA).
SRV created two series of videos as part of the project, which can be found on our videos page. The Planning Your Future video series was translated into Arabic, Hindi and Vietnamese. The Guardianship and Administration series was created with translation and dubbing in mind.
In addition to the Ballarat versions of the flyers SRV has created state-wide versions. Read more.