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Elder abuse service 10 year celebration

Seniors Rights Victoria, an elder abuse service based on the advocacy social worker/lawyer model hosted its 10 year anniversary celebration recently at Melbourne City Bowling Club.

Guest speakers included Victorian Commissioner for Seniors and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Gerard Mansour, Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Director, Seniors Programs & Participation, Barbara Mountjouris, Seniors Rights’ peer educator Jennifer Evans and Manager of the program, Jenny Blakey. MC for the event was COTA CEO Ronda Held.

Elder abuse is any act causing harm to an older person by someone they know and trust, such as family and friends. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

A program of COTA Victoria, Seniors Rights Victoria continues to have a key role in the delivery of the Victorian Government’s Elder Abuse Prevention and Response strategies and initiatives to contribute to the response, prevention and education of elder abuse in Victoria.

Since 2008, Seniors Rights Victoria has had:

  • 22,063 calls to our Helpline
  • 4,382 older people receiving personalised assistance through advice and casework
  • 29,182 participants in community education sessions
  • 12,247 participants in professional development sessions
  • Production of nine different information sheets and the booklet, Care for Your Assets: Money, Ageing and Family.

In her speech at the celebration, Jennifer Evans explained the benefits of the peer-to-peer education model that Seniors Rights Victoria follows.

“As older people ourselves, who are conveying our strong passion for justice, it seems that we are accepted and believed more readily,” Jennifer said.

“By us naming what elder abuse is, that older people have a right not to be abused or ripped off, and that it is okay to seek assistance, participants do listen. They appear to really appreciate the knowledge we bring and the information we share, and it is very gratifying to have others thank us for doing something that we really enjoy”.

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