10 March 2017
CPSA welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Elder Abuse Discussion Paper (DP 83) released by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). The majority of this submission responds to Chapter 11 of the Discussion Paper, which related to aged care. CPSA has extensive experience in the area of aged care and also auspices a Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) service in Sydney. While CPSA is a strong supporter of the ALRC's involvement in elder abuse and the broader attention to the issue by state and territory governments, as a grass-roots organisation our members have raised a number of concerns with the terminology used. The term elder is not generally used in Australian society when talking about older people. The exception to this is within Aboriginal communities, where the term Elder holds particular cultural meaning and significance. In addition, members have expressed concern that the term elder abuse is ambiguous, as it can imply that the elder is the one perpetrating abuse. For these reasons, CPSA's preferred terminology is the abuse of older people. However, as the ALRC's terms of reference refer to elder abuse, this submission will also use the term to describe the abuse of older people.