Final Conference Statement

Final Conference Statement

5th National Elder Abuse Conference – Together Making Change

OUR CALL TO ACTION TO ALL GOVERNMENTS IN AUSTRALIA:

‘There is no excuse not to act nationally NOW against Elder Abuse.’

Come together to create and fully resource the strong, effective, nationally consistent and accountable change needed to:

  • Create respectful cultures that value older people within our diverse country and communities (a whole of community shift) to prevent an epidemic of abuse against older people
  • Deliver early intervention and empower older people
  • Support and safeguard those older persons experiencing abuse.

Involve older people and all the key stakeholders in developing the National Plan to address Elder Abuse to ensure all older people experience dignity, their rights and personal well-being as a daily way of life.

PROCESS UNDERTAKEN TO ACHIEVE THE FINAL STATEMENT

The Conference Statement was developed through a number of consultative mechanisms:

  • 30 key leaders from across multiple sectors were consulted via one hour phone interviews in the months leading up to the conference
  • Over 200 delegates took part in an online survey upon registration and identified key themes
  • More than 100 conference delegates attended the ‘end-of-conference message’ stand where the statement was nuanced by delegates
  • Ellen Fanning interviewed 20 key presenters across the two days of the conference and input key themes into the process
  • Dr Keith Suter roved the conference venue and received feedback from delegates via a number of conversations

The Conference Statement was then presented and endorsed by the delegates at the closing plenary.

KEY THEMES IDENTIFIED BY PARTICIPANTS THAT UNDERPIN THE FINAL STATEMENT

High Level Statement Themes

  • ALL older people deserve respect, autonomy and personal well being
  • Make it a ‘Call to Action’ to all Governments
  • Nationwide action required
  • Older people must be involved
  • Key stakeholders must be involved
  • Action must be joint, comprehensive, nationally consistent, outcomes focused and accountable
  • More resources required for both ‘support’ and ‘intervention’
  • Must include prevention, early intervention, crisis support and safeguarding

Specific Theme Areas

  • Clarity of a definition that resonates
  • Better research, data and evaluation
  • Law reforms (to enable easier reporting, better safeguarding and greater enforcement including prosecution in relation to perpetrators)
  • Reforms across multiple sectors
  • Better Government agency co-ordination and ending cross jurisdictional differences
  • Need for continuum of actions from community awareness raising to education to early intervention to crisis responses and ongoing support and safeguarding
  • Need for joined up service responses
  • More focus and funding for our many diverse communities including older persons living with a disability, CALD, LGBTIQ and Indigenous communities
  • Need for systemic change to prevent perverse incentives (entitlement)
  • Better reporting pathways that are well known and easy to use
  • Importance of listening to older people and what they want
  • Better educational opportunities for the workforce
  • Changes to policies and reporting protocols in primary health, acute health, financial institutions, aged care and the Police sectors (etc)
  • Very important to capture the voice of older people in these changes
  • Culture of all our communities need to change to stop abuse of older people
  • Nationally uniform laws (seamless legislation to protect older people)
  • National rights based policy framework
  • Much more work required in supporting and reporting older women experiencing sexual abuse