Elder abuse - What's happening in South Australia?

If you have a good news story or would like to share the initiatives your agency is involved in, contact the Office for the Ageing on (08) 8204 2420.

In 2014-15, Office for the Ageing partnered with the University of South Australia to undertake a study on the prevalence of elder abuse in South Australia. Given the difficulties in obtaining data from key agencies to measure elder abuse prevalence, the study focussed on understanding the data collection practices of key government and non-government organisations, including recommendations for improving data collection practices in South Australia. The Prevalence of Elder Abuse in South Australia Report: Current Data Collection Practices of Key Agencies was finalised in February 2017.

Stop Elder Abuse Campaign

The South Australian Government’s public awareness campaign continues in 2018 with the message ‘Elder Abuse Can Be Stopped, If You Speak Up.

The campaign aims to raise awareness amongst the general public of the types and signs of elder abuse and how they can report their concerns via the SA Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line Support and Referral Service 1800 372 310.

And because 50% of cases of elder abuse are financial, the campaign is also reaching out to banks, credit unions and real estate agents to provide information and resources.

Frontline workers in these sectors are in a position to notice changes in clients’ behaviour consistent with possible financial abuse.

Banking staff may notice unusual financial transactions on the accounts of an older client.

Real estate agents may see family members or others controlling a property transaction to the detriment of an older person.

Both could be signs of financial abuse.

The Stop Elder Abuse Communications Toolkit has been updated to reflect this additional direction of the Stop Elder Abuse campaign. It is a resource to help support ongoing promotion of this important message to the South Australian community, including the promotion of the Phone Line and website.

In October 2015, the first Stop Elder Abuse campaign was launched to:

  • raise public awareness of the rights of older people, what Elder Abuse is, what the signs are and where to go for information and support; and
  • enable South Australians to feel confident about seeking help and information if they believe an older person’s rights are not being respected.

The media campaign featured outdoor, digital, radio and press advertising across metropolitan and regional South Australia.

In 2016, in addition to the general public, the campaign focussed on those working in the health, legal and financial sectors because they are often in a position to see the signs and do something to help.

The 2017 campaign used refreshed posters, postcards, wallet card, bus shelter advertising, newspaper and radio ads, and social media to reach out to volunteers and carers along with the general public. It was designed in consultation with volunteers and carers.

Elder Abuse Prevention Resources

Safeguarding against elder abuse

A useful Carers SA resource funded by Office for the Ageing for paid and unpaid carers to recognise risk factors for elder abuse, and implement helpful strategies to prevent and minimise elder abuse.

Safeguarding against financial abuse

Developed by Carers SA in partnership with Office for the Ageing this resource aims to raise awareness of paid and unpaid carers who manage finances of a person they care for, to recognise risk factors and implement safeguards to help prevent or stop financial abuse.

Knowing Your Rights – A Guide to the Rights of Older South Australians

Knowing Your Rights – A Guide to the Rights of Older South Australians (PDF 1MB) has been developed by Office for the Ageing and Legal Services Commission to assist older South Australians to understand their rights, the laws that protect and safeguard these and where they can access services and information.

Living a Positive Life

Funded by the Office for the Ageing, Living a Positive Life comprises two short films developed by the Aged Rights Advocacy Service. The films demonstrate how older South Australians, including older people from Aboriginal communities, can increase their safety, control over their lives, and knowledge of strategies to prevent elder abuse.

Good Practice Guidelines to Prevent Abuse of Older South Australians

Developed by Office for the Ageing, the Good Practice Guidelines are a five step practical tool to help organisations identify, develop and implement action plans to improve elder abuse practice, policies and protocols.

South Australia’s Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line

Since its establishment in October 2015, the South Australian Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line has received hundreds of calls from concerned older people, family members, friends and service providers, seeking information, support and referrals for elder abuse concerns.

Planning Ahead - Keeping our communities informed

Following the inaugural launch of Planning Ahead day in September 2014, OFTA has continued to distribute and promote the Planning Ahead key messages and resources to the community, key stakeholders, and service providers. In 2015-16 the focus is on on culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including Greek, Italian and Vietnamese, as well as regional communities.

To download resources visit: Planning Ahead

Please take our short survey about the Stop Elder Abuse web pages. 

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