OPAN’s National Elder Abuse Prevention and Advocacy Framework
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) member organisations have for some time now been addressing elder abuse issues in order to uphold these rights, through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, through State or Territory elder abuse service provision as well as other funded advocacy and prevention work.
The work and activities have been of benefit to both users of aged care services and older people who are potential aged care service users. Contact has come through active engagement of older people and their families during information and education provision in the community. Elder abuse, and risk of elder abuse has also come to light when older people, their carers and families contact OPAN and its service delivery organisations requesting generalised and individual advocacy. This can be related to aged care, but also as the older person requests information and assistance in relation to other health, human services or community services.
In 2017, it was recommended that OPAN develop a nationally consistent approach to its work in elder abuse prevention. To this end, the National Elder Abuse Prevention and Advocacy Framework has been developed. The goal of this was to deliver consistent services and standards Australia-wide, and inform, develop and deliver a best evidence and practice national model of elder abuse prevention and advocacy response.
Mobile Application and Information Video
The abuse of older people remains a pertinent issue in Australia, which has been particularly highlighted by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Older Persons Advocacy Network has developed a mobile application (Elder Help) and a video (Noticed Something?) which aim to provide information to volunteers and all those in contact with older people to recognise the possible signs of abuse. These resources also educate the wider community on the rights of older people receiving aged care, and how to access aged care advocacy services.
Watch ‘Noticed Something?’
On 12 December 2019, OPAN was joined by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, who officially launched these resources at a free event. The mobile application and video were demonstrated, and the audience were able to ask questions about how the resources can be used. The launch was webcast live, and the recording can be viewed below.