The conversations of life

We need more powers for aged care and retirement village workers to report elder abuse


Last week we joined Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson AO on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for a meeting of local retirement village managers.

Most said they regularly see residents being financially pressured by children – but village and aged care managers don’t have the legal power to act.

We think this needs to change.

The reality is with people living longer and house prices going up, this kind of abuse is only going to increase.

Dr Patterson’s office is already working with banks to identify and respond to elder abuse.

We would like to see more training and education for staff so they know how to identify signs of abuse – and be able to take action.

Elder abuse everyone’s business

The South Australian Government recently announced it would set up an Adult Safeguarding Unit to make it easier for the community to report suspected or actual cases of neglect or abuse. Why not introduce this at a national level?

Dr Patterson is also pushing for a national register for enduring powers of attorney and guardianship – another measure that would ensure these are consistent across the states.

Of course we all want to provide for those we love – but we also have the right to live financially secure. If you do need to appoint a power of attorney, it’s important to seek advice and be informed.

Dr Patterson recommended a Commonwealth Bank booklet on financial abuse titled ‘Savvy and Safe’ which I have found very useful – you can download it here.

You can also seek more information and help on elder abuse here.

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. We don’t need more power to report elder abuse – anyone can report it
    What we need is more protection for those who do i.e., better whistleblowing laws

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