Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson this week participated in the launch of the Federal Government’s National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (2019-2023). The Plan features a national hotline and frontline services as part of a four-year trial to support victims.
The $18m package, announced on Tuesday by the Attorney General Christian Porter, involves a suite of initiatives. These include five specialist elder abuse units, three health justice partnerships, and four case management and mediation services.
The National Plan has five goals to respond to elder abuse, including:
1. Enhancing our understanding
2. Improving community awareness and access to information
3. Strengthening service responses
4. Planning for future decision-making
5. Strengthening safeguards for vulnerable older adults.
“Australia's first national plan to respond to elder abuse is an important step in tackling this insidious problem,” said Dr Patterson.
"To any older person who is out there thinking 'I'm not sure where my money is going, I don't know what's happening to my medication, I feel concerned that people are controlling my life' the number to ring is 1800 353 374 and there will be people who are experienced in their jurisdiction to help them.
“We know that elder abuse exists. Now, we need to make sure those who fear they may be at risk or are already being abused, know that they can call the hotline and will be redirected to the relevant helpline in their state or territory,” said Dr Patterson.
For more information on the National Plan and other initiatives, see https://www.ag.gov.au/elderabuse or call the hotline on 1800 353 374.