Service directory launched to protect Coffs Coast seniors against elder abuse

BUILDING on the Seniors’ Safety and Rights event held in November 2023, members of the Older Persons Abuse Prevention Coffs Coast Collaborative have developed a local service directory to assist older persons with navigating their rights if they are subjected to elder abuse.

The directory will be launched at the City Markets on Thursday 13 June, where copies will be available free of charge.

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With concerns around elder abuse in the community, members of the Collaborative have developed a user-friendly service directory that provides information for urgent help, advice or assistance.

“It also includes contact details for those who are interested in knowing a bit more information,” said Lorraine Penn, coordinator of the Coffs Harbour Older Women’s Network.

“Sadly, some people may be subjected to behaviour from trusted family members, friends, neighbours or caregivers that causes harm, exploitation or a loss of control,” she said.

Lorraine says elder abuse can take various forms such as financial, physical, emotional or psychological, as well as coercive behaviours or sexual abuse.

It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect, and can occur in an aged care facility or in the community.

“Every older person deserves the right to feel safe and be treated with dignity and respect.

“Just because people become older, does not mean that they should lose control over their lives,” she said.

The majority of reported incidents of elder abuse victims are women, and around 70 percent of perpetrators are family members, particularly adult children, with around ten percent being partners.

The World Health Organisation defines elder abuse as a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.

“We are delighted that the service directory will be launched and available free at the City Markets,” said Lorraine.

Collaborative member representatives will be on hand at the stand, where they will promote that everyone has the right to feel safe and be treated with dignity and respect.

“Drop by and grab a copy of the directory, ask questions and have a chat.”

The Collaborative comprises Healthy North Coast, Mid North Coast Local Health District, BlueSky Community Services, Coffs Harbour Older Women’s Network, Coffs/Clarence Police, Coffs Country Women’s Association, EACH Care Finders, Warrina Refuge, Senior Rights, Galambila Care Connections and City of Coffs Harbour.


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