The Older, Not Alone campaign has been launched at a highly successful event hosted by COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), alongside their partners the Victorian Government and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).
Older, Not Alone has been designed to highlight the increased pressures experienced by older Victorians during the colder, darker winter months and to make our most vulnerable cohort aware of existing resources and support schemes that can alleviate those burdens. It is now available as an online and print resource, and is backed by telephone support services and in-person educational initiatives.
“Our role on the frontline with older Victorians means we are seeing firsthand what is happening to older people in this state,” said COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria CEO, Chris Potaris, who formally launched the campaign today.
“Seniors Rights Victoria has seen a 40% increase in calls to our state-wide helpline in the past few months,” Mr Potaris continued. “One in six older people has experienced some form of elder abuse in the last year.”
Many supports from the community, not-for-profits, local government, and the Victorian Government already exist — such as financial support for energy costs — but older Victorians need to be made aware of them. More importantly, they may need help in accessing said schemes.
“Older, Not Alone seeks to engage all Victorians to reconnect with friends, family, loved ones, neighbours, health professionals, and others to encourage them to seek the help that is already available,” said Mr Potaris.
Mr Potaris was joined by fellow speakers Robert Caulfield (President, COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria), Cr David Clark (President, the Municipal Association of Victoria), and Jennifer Evans (Community Educator, Seniors Rights Victoria).
“COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria are proud of developing this state-wide campaign in collaboration with our partners,” said Mr Caulfield.
“Older, Not Alone is about going beyond just aged care and spotlighting exciting approaches to improving the well-being of older Victorians this winter,” said Cr Clark in his speech. “Reminding people and their families that there are hundreds of organisations — including local councils — working tirelessly to improve the lives of all of us as we age.”
Jennifer Evans, Seniors Rights Victoria’s longest-serving volunteer and community educator, not only shed light on elder abuse, but the importance of connection.
“Elder abuse is never okay under any circumstances,” Ms Evans began.
“It is a hidden human rights scourge that has no place in our community. Lack of social support is strongly associated with the mistreatment of older people,” she continued. “Conversely, a high level of social support can both reduce the negative impacts of elder abuse and be a protective factor against future abuse.”
Older, Not Alone will run throughout the winter months, adding additional support services and ways to reach out to older Victorians as the campaign progresses.
For more, visit the Older, Not Alone website, which currently offers supports focused on community and peer groups, elder abuse, financial supports and rebates, independent living, and vaccinations.
All speakers from today’s launch are available for further comment.
Marketing & Communications Manager
COTA Victoria & Seniors Rights Victoria
Telephone: +61 3 9655 2159
About COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV)
COTA Victoria is the leading not-for-profit organisation representing the interests and rights of people aged over 50 in Victoria. For over 70 years, we have led government, corporate and community thinking about the positive aspects of ageing in the state.
Seniors Rights Victoria is a program of COTA Victoria and the key state-wide service dedicated to advancing the rights of older people and the early intervention into, or prevention of, elder abuse in our community.
About the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
The MAV is a membership association and the legislated peak body for local government in Victoria and the communities it represents.
The MAV offers diverse business services to our council members including specialist policy and advocacy, governance and legislative advice, sector development, insurance and procurement services.