New website calls out the abusers

Compass website helps gives direction to action against elder abuse

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National knowledge hub will help end elder abuse in Australia.

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A NEW website has been launched to help fight elder abuse in Australia.

Named Compass, the website is a national knowledge hub and online resource dedicated to providing information and access to a broad range of resources to help Australians better understand and address the abuse of older people.

The online knowledge hub was one of the key priorities outlined by the Attorney-General as part of the national Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians. (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023.

The website, funded by the Attorney -General's Department, was developed by Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) which was set up after participants at previous National Elder Abuse conferences, advocated the need for a national and collegiate approach to working on elder abuse.

EAAA co-chair Dierdre Timms, said the Compass website was about calling out the abuse.

Diedre Timms

Diedre Timms

Talking about the increasing number of cases of elder abuse, Ms Timms, who is also chief executive of Advocare an older persons' rights organisation in WA, said the selfish attitude of the abusers bewildered her.

"We have a rise in the growth of ageism in our community yet everything we enjoy today has been made by older people."

The increasing isolation faced by older people and inheritance impatience were two of the causes of elder abuse, she said.

Ms Timms said the website was a resource where information and research about elder abuse could be easily accessed by people working in the sector as well as older Australians, families and neighbours.

We have a rise in the growth of ageism in our community yet everything we enjoy today has been made by older people. - Diedre Timms co-chair Elder Abuse Action Australia

The website includes state and territory listings of support organisations.

Ms Timms said the development of the website was a three year project and EAAA was seeking feedback from users.

The Age Discrimination Commission Dr Kay Patterson recently launched an educational bookmark to raise awareness of elder abuse.

The bookmark and a poster poses five statements:

  • I am treated with respect by family and friends
  • I know how my money is being spent
  • I choose what happens in my home
  • Decisions about my life are in my best interest
  • My will reflects my own wishes
  • I know where my medication is

If you answered "No" to any of these statements you might want to talk to someone you trust.

Need information or advice on elder abuse now?

CALL 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374). This free number will redirect you to an existing phone service near you. This is not a 24-hour line. Call operating times will vary.

If you are in immediate physical danger call Triple Zero (000).

Visit Compass here

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