5TH NATIONAL ELDER ABUSE CONFERENCE| 19-20 FEBRUARY 2018 | SOFITEL SYDNEY WENTWORTH
5TH NATIONAL ELDER ABUSE CONFERENCE 19-20 FEBRUARY 2018 | SOFITEL SYDNEY WENTWORTH
5TH NATIONAL ELDER ABUSE CONFERENCE 19-20 FEBRUARY 2018 SOFITEL SYDNEY WENTWORTH
In February 2018, the Senior Rights Service of NSW hosted the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference. The Conference culminated in an announcement by the Attorney-General, the Honourable Christian Porter that a National Plan would be developed to ensure the protection of older people in the Australian community.
To further the conversations generated by the conference, Seniors Rights Service engaged Ellen Fanning to conduct a series of interviews with experts who attended the conference. These videos, along with a discussion sheet for each video, are freely available to community members, professionals and students of all sectors, to enable engagement with the content using suggested discussion questions and to follow up with further reading.
Using her personal experiences of being a carer, Ms Baum reflects that people step into a caring role […more]
Using her personal experiences of being a carer, Ms Baum reflects that people step into a caring role with a lot of illusions and the reality of caring can be extremely challenging, personally and psychologically. Ms Baum also highlights the fact that carers can be mistreated and abused also, and that this is not spoken about much. She strongly advocates the need for carers to have respite and to seek assistance develop skills such as resilience.
Mr Herd explains how financial elder abuse can be difficult to prove […more]
Mr Herd explains how financial elder abuse can be difficult to prove. Perpetrators of financial elder abuse can have no understanding that what they are doing is wrong. He argues that discrete criminal offences that target the conduct of the abuser can act as disincentives to elder abuse. He also discusses his view that increasing awareness of elder abuse must come with the ability to prosecute.
Ms Goldner discusses the “massive” challenges that the Transgender community face all their lives […more]
Ms Goldner discusses the “massive” challenges that the Transgender community face all their lives, and into older age. She explains how there is some “warming” to the issue and wanting to be more inclusive, but that there is still a general lack of esteem given to seniors, and therefore there is a “double whammy” if you are a senior who is also transgender. Ms Goldner gives specific examples from her community where trans women and men are denied their hormone treatment by aged care staff, or how same sex partners are separated on entry to aged care facilities. Ms Goldner also gives positive stories, such as a service where a senior man “came out” (disclosed his sexual preference) and the service supported him to connect to a group of gay and bisexual men. The man now reportedly is unrecognisable as he “walks so much taller” and it has made a massive and positive difference to his happiness and life.
Hon. Justice Derrington and Mr Corrigan discuss the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Report […more]
Hon. Justice Derrington and Mr Corrigan discuss the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Report which includes 43 recommendations for law reform to address elder abuse. Derrington and Corrigan discuss the task of the Commission to consider the legal framework and to ask if existing laws are enough to address elder abuse, or if the issues relate to better applying the law. In some areas, the question relates to whether laws are the best solution to identified problems.
Mr McDougall explains the elder abuse response model developed by the Caxton Legal Centre […more]
Mr McDougall explains the elder abuse response model developed by the Caxton Legal Centre in Queensland that has been working very well. The model involves pairing a lawyer and a social worker together to do outreach to a person’s home. Subsequently, the service discovered a similar model operating in New York USA. The model enables clients to be intensely supported to address fears and concerns about disrupting family relationships, or about housing or financial security, to enable people to feel secure to take legal action if they choose. Mr McDougall also raises the question as to the “trick balance” between the autonomy of an older person (to not take action to stop abuse) and society’s obligation to protect vulnerable adults or stand up to power imbalances that enable abuse to occur.
Ms Leoleos talks about the Speak My Language Project and how this project can help to prevent elder abuse […more]
Ms Leoleos talks about the Speak My Language Project and how this project can help to prevent elder abuse in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, and help community members to identify and report elder abuse. The Project was developed by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW (lead) in partnership with other Ethnic Councils (Vic and Qld) and with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC). The project harnesses the strength and scope of community radio to inform CALD about the Commonwealth’s aged care system. Through simple in-language conversations on-air, the project assists senior members of CALD communities to understand recent changes to aged care, and make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
Ms O’Neill discusses the historical colonial context of elder abuse […more]
Ms O’Neill discusses the historical colonial context of elder abuse, where poverty and racism continue to keep indigenous people from participating fully in the economy which leads to further poverty and trauma. The cycle of cradle-to-grave institutionalisation amongst indigenous people, she argues, leads to a vulnerability to elder abuse. Ms O’Neill argues that strategies must involve indigenous communities and take their particular needs into account.
Supt. Critchlow explains how policing has changed over time, particularly around changing community views […more]
Supt. Critchlow explains how policing has changed over time, particularly around changing community views that elder abuse is a matter “to be dealt with privately”. Supt. Critchlow discusses the importance of Police engaging with communities, and working with third parties such as human services and health. He argues that hospital emergency departments can provide a window of opportunity for early intervention of elder abuse. He also discusses the view that laws specific to elder abuse could help raise awareness that elder abuse is unacceptable behaviour.