A National Plan to Combat Elder Abuse

News article published 23 March 2018

A National Plan to Combat Elder Abuse

Needed

The Australian Government has announced that it will work with states and territories to develop a national plan to address elder abuse.

It’s about time considering a World Health Organisation (WHO) survey of 133 countries revealed that in 2014, 41 per cent of countries already had a national elder abuse plan in place.

It seems that this plan will be fairly comprehensive, addressing the many forms abuse can take including physical, psychological, financial and sexual abuse as well as neglect.

As a larger portion of the Australian population gets closer to retirement age and visibility of elder abuse improves, the prevalence of elder abuse merits national action.

This national plan will draw from the frameworks and strategies already used to combat the more public initiatives fighting child abuse and domestic violence. The plan has five goals:

  • Promote the autonomy and agency of older people;
  • Address ageism and promote community understanding of elder abuse;
  • Achieve national consistency;
  • Safeguard ‘at risk’ older people and improve responses; and
  • Build the evidence basis.

CPSA welcomes this decision and urges the Australian Government to include an examination of elder abuse perpetrated by residential aged care facilities, where neglect and suffering of older people is prevalent.

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