Did you know? There are simple yet effective ways to help prevent abuse. Learn how you or someone you know can protect their health and wellbeing, finances and future decisions and wishes.
Knowing Your Rights - A Guide to the Rights of Older South Australians (PDF 1MB) has been developed by Office for Ageing Well in partnership with Legal Services Commission to inform older people of their rights, the laws that safeguard and offer protection, and where to go for more information and support. This publication has useful information about critical life points, and where to go to for advice or support related to finances, health, accommodation and legal issues. Download the resource or contact Legal Services Commission for your free copy.
lend your bank card or give your personal identification number (PIN) to anyone
feel pressured or made to feel guilty into doing something you are not in agreement with
sign any forms directly after significant changes in your health
sign any forms you are not sure about or have not read
lend money without a formal payback schedule…unless you are giving a gift
leave your decisions about financial matters up to others
leave valuables lying around
inform others you keep money at home.
keep regular contact with your bank, credit or financial institution, financial planner or accountant
have bills automatically paid from your bank account such as your telephone or utilities bills
seek information about legal and financial matters, especially about future options
seek independent advice before signing any documents, co-signing loans, or signing over ownership of your home
read all legal documents carefully, including the fine print – seek advice if you don’t understand something
stop and wait if you are feeling pressured – get advice before you sign a document
put in writing your expectations that your property/materials which are borrowed are to be returned…unless it is a gift
keep your home secure; do not leave valuables lying around
update your documents yearly or as relationships or circumstances change
keep copies of these important documents in a safe place, which you can find easily.
Health and wellbeing
Did you know? You can plan ahead and make your wishes known for your future accommodation, healthcare, end of life and personal decisions.
plan for your future while you are independent and have decision-making capacity
make a list of things important to you for others to consider and respect
seek advice before changing your living situation
think carefully before moving in with family or friends or before someone moves into your home
keep socially active - volunteer, go on outings with friends and visit neighbours
get support to continue attending activities for as long as possible
stay in touch with relatives, family, friends and support networks
maintain contact with businesses where you shop, your bank, service providers, and your general practitioner (GP)
ask for help when you need it - seek assistance if you cannot rely on family members
become aware of services for seniors and seniors’ information including the South Australian Government’s sa.gov.au webpages, attend seniors forums, ask questions, collect brochures
take control of your own decisions and health care; know your rights
become aware of the signs of elder abuse and how to prevent it
get in writing verbal agreements you or someone makes with you – for example if someone agrees to take care of you in exchange for accommodation
have your own phone and open your own mail
talk to someone about concerns of abuse early
seek mediation services to help resolve family disputes
if you are not satisfied with care services you receive in your home or care facility (improper treatment/yelling), tell someone in charge or make a complaint to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
complete an Advance Care Directive for your future health care, living arrangements and personal matters and ensure the person you appoint/ you trust can make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions yourself.
If you are a carer
If you’re caring for someone at home, many services are available to help and support you in your caring role. There are things that you can do to make your home safer and more comfortable for you and the person you care for.
Carer Gateway is a national telephone and online service that provides practical information and resources to support carers. The interactive service finder helps carers connect to local support services.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of caring for an older person, the following tips can help:
request help, from friends, relatives, neighbours
seek support, counselling and advice from community services
find assistance from services which understand and support carers
learn about ways to reduce and manage stress
find a support group
take regular breaks, if only for a couple of hours
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