News & Events

Zero tolerance of elder abuse at OCAV

June 25, 2018

OCAV marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by reaffirming its commitment to having zero tolerance towards the issue. Staff and volunteers at OCAV wore purple to bring attention to elder abuse.

CEO Phillip Wohlers said: “The colour purple is striking, and it stimulated conversations with everyone about what elder abuse is while, at the same time, making it clear that we believe everyone has the right to live free from harm and abuse.”

“We also reaffirmed our commitment to delivering safe care to all our residents.”

The abuse of elderly people by family members, friends, or even complete strangers can be psychological, physical, sexual, or take the form of neglect — but the most common abuse is of the financial kind.

In Australia, the statistics on elder abuse are unclear, with the problem often being kept a secret. The Federal Government estimates that up to 10 per cent of older Australians are preyed upon, and there are calls for more safeguards.

Population prevalence studies in the UK and Canada suggest that about five per cent of people over 65 experience one form of abuse in any one year, with the World Health Organisation estimating that 10 per cent of older people globally are victims of abuse.

Phillip Wohlers said: “As CEO, it is my job to ensure that everyone who works or volunteers here is educated and trained about elder abuse, as well as to find ways of empowering our residents to speak out if they believe or know they are victims of abuse.”

OCAV will be working with the Commissioner for Senior Victoriansand Senior Rights Victoria to deliver Conversations for Change on elder abuse later this year.

Mr Wohlers welcomed the Federal Government’s establishment of Elder Abuse Action Australia to help protect the rights of older Australians.

The organisation has been established to work in partnership with government to promote the safety, dignity, equality, health and independence of older Australians through education, capacity building, data gathering and research.

The alliance will play a major role in the development of a National Plan to combat elder abuse which was announced in February 2018.

Caption: CEO Phillip Wohlers with  Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Tsebin Tchen, Victorian Multicultural Commission commissioner.

Sanctuary is how artist Gillian Coates describes her home at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa. “When I go to Melbourne and I am heading back to Euroa, I can’t wait to get home to the peacefulness of this place. It is like a sanctuary for me."

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