The Andrews Labor Government will invest $1.2 million to ensure older Victorians who are victims of elder abuse have greater access to services and support.
The Integrated Model of Care for Responding to Suspected Elder Abuse follows findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence that elder abuse tends to be under-reported, and is often not recognised as a form of family violence.
The model is being deployed at Melbourne Health, Monash Health, and Latrobe Community Health Service.
Each health service and their community partners will receive workforce training to better identify and respond to suspected elder abuse, counselling and mediation services to help prevent escalation of abuse, and the appointment of an elder abuse prevention and response liaison officer.
An Elder Abuse Prevention Network will be established in each trial location to develop protocols between agencies to better support victims and survivors of abuse and raise local awareness.
Specialised training will be provided to clinicians in the three health services, to help them identify older patients who are subject to abuse at home.
The clinicians will be supported to take appropriate action to protect the patient, and address issues causing the abuse.
Importantly, the training and response is designed to be family-inclusive while still identifying perpetrators.
Responses will include a range of therapeutic options and legal pathways, and will be sensitive to older people’s choices about family relationships and prevention of family breakdown.
Health services have been designed as a hub for the trials, as around half of patients in hospital beds for multiple days are older people. Health services also provide care in hospital and home settings and have linkages to a wide range of supports and agencies.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“This funding will help our dedicated healthcare workers know the signs and how to best refer older Victorians to get support quickly.”
“Elder abuse is a form of family violence and there is no place for it in our community.”
“We will look at the findings closely from this trial – to increase awareness and ensure all older Victorians get support when they need it most.”