ON the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Shadow Seniors Minister Nicole Lawder is calling for a specific plan to protect elderly Canberrans from abuse.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is tomorrow (June 15), was first established to recognise a growing, global population of seniors, and with the population growth, an increase of abuse towards seniors.
While the ACT government supported the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-23, Ms Lawder says there’s no dedicated funding in its recent budget for an ACT Implementation Plan.
She says an ACT Implementation Plan would contain measurable actions, goals and targets to help the territory government achieve objectives set out in the national plan.
“Sadly, we know that some older people in Canberra are suffering from financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse – often at the hands of people they know,” she says.
“Often victims don’t recognise the abuse. When they do, victims don’t always know where to go for help.
“There is also confusion in the broader community about what constitutes elder abuse and how to identify it is occurring.
“We are morally compelled to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect elderly Canberrans from abuse and give them the support they need.
“If the ACT does not take strong, measurable action, I have real concerns that more elderly Canberrans will become victims of abuse as our elderly population grows.
“An awareness campaign to help the community identify signs of elder abuse, how to stop it and where to go to for help would be an important component of an ACT Implementation Plan.”