Elder abuse

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Elder abuse in the AIFS library catalogue

Addressing elder abuse in rural and remote communities : social policy, prevention and responses.

Warren A and Blundell B
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect v. 31 no. 4/5 2019: 424-436
This article presents findings from a recent literature review on addressing elder abuse in rural and remote locations. The review examined the Australian and international research on policy, prevention, and service responses to elder abuse in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities. The review highlights several challenges, including geographic isolation, high service demand, poor resourcing, lack of transportation, and issues with confidentiality and privacy. Though a range of policy, prevention, and service responses have been developed, there is only limited evidence on their effectiveness.

Elder abuse in rural and remote communities.

Blundell B and Warren A
CFCA short article 30 Jul 2019
This article highlights findings from a recent literature review on how elder abuse can be addressed in rural and remote locations. It outlines implications for health and community services, state and territory policy, and best practice for support services. Though there is no indication that elder abuse is any less prevalent in rural and remote areas than in urban areas, older people may be more vulnerable due to geographic isolation and local services don't always have the resources or capacity to respond appropriately. Service providers and policy makers are encouraged to consider how gaps might be creatively and collaboratively addressed.

Designing Australian responses to elder abuse : issues and challenges.

Blundell B and Clare M
Shankardass, Mala Kapur, ed. International handbook of elder abuse and mistreatment. Singapore : Springer, 2019: 539-557
This chapter highlights current issues and debates in Australia on how best to respond to elder abuse. Issues include how elder abuse should be defined and responding to the needs of Indigenous Australians, culturally and ethnically diverse people, and people from remote regional areas. The issue of elder abuse has gained in prominence in Australia in recent years and has received much attention through enquiries, research studies and policy responses.

Elder abuse in Australia.

Dow B, Vrantsidis F, O'Brien M, Joosten M and Gahan L
Shankardass, Mala Kapur, ed. International handbook of elder abuse and mistreatment. Singapore : Springer, 2019: 559-574
This chapter provides an overview of elder abuse in Australia, including what is known about prevalence, what policies and practices are available to prevent and intervene, and current issues and debates. The chapter highlights the fragmented nature of supports and policies across the states and territories and calls for a national approach.

Interim report: neglect

Australia. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2019.
A Royal Commission has been called into quality and safety of the aged care system in Australia. This report presents the interim findings, setting out what the Royal Commission has learned to date and the extent of the failure of Australia's aged care services. In short, it has found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them. A fundamental overhaul of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia is required. The findings are presented across three volumes. Volume 1 sets out the information gathered and makes some conclusions, volume 2 details learnings from the public hearings held to date, and volume 3 presents additional information from public forums. Recommendations for reform will be presented in the Royal Commission's final report, expected in November 2020.

Restrictive practices in residential aged care in Australia: nature, prevalence and care

Australia. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2019.
This paper presents an overview of the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care in Australia. This paper has been prepared to help inform the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Restrictive practices refer to activities or interventions, either physical or pharmacological, that have the effect of restricting a person's free movement or ability to make decisions. The use of such practices in residential aged care in Australia is contentious, with concerns about misuse and overuse, significant adverse effects on the care recipient, and the impact on liberty and dignity. This paper describes variations in defining physical and chemical restraint, the effects of restrictive practices, reducing or avoiding restrictive practices, the regulatory framework and guidance, legal frameworks relating to consent to care and treatment, human rights obligations, and the recommendations of previous enquiries and recommendations.

Violence and abuse policy brief

Loxton D and Townsend N
Newcastle, N.S.W. : Women's Health Australia, 2019.
This briefing paper presents recommendations for policy on assisting the victims of violence and abuse, based on evidence from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. It highlights learnings about disclosure, childhood adversity, bullying, forced sex and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse that provide sufficient evidence to warrant policy recommendations. The findings highlight the prevalence and ongoing impacts of violence and abuse. This is one of ten briefing papers that have been produced for the Australian Government Department of Health and the papers have also been published together in one volume. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health is a collaborative project conducted by the University of Newcastle and the University of Queensland.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety: a quick guide

Haupt R
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library, 2019.
A Royal Commission has been established to investigate the quality and delivery of aged care services in Australia. This paper provides an explanation of the development, scope, and funding of this Royal Commission. There have been a number of inquiries into aged care in recent years but significant public attention was raised over abuse at an abuse aged care facility at Oakden in South Australia.

Elder abuse national research - strengthening the evidence base: research definition background paper

Kaspiew R, Carson R, Dow B, Qu L, Hand K, Roopani D, Gahan L and O'Keeffe D
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This paper presents a definition of elder abuse to support research in Australia, and sets out how it was developed. Each of the five elements that provide the structure of the working definition are also explained. The working definition was commissioned for the Elder Abuse National Research Program to inform the development of data collection instruments for an Australian Prevalence Study. The process involved three strategies: a literature review; a series of workshops, focus groups and consultations with professionals and community members; and an assessment of the approaches taken in international prevalence studies.

Elder abuse : context, concepts and challenges.

Dow B and Brijnath B
Australia's welfare 2019 : data insights. Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019. Australia's welfare 1321-1455: 143-159
This chapter provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about elder abuse in Australia. It discusses definitional issues, prevalence, common scenarios, cultural considerations, risk factors, policy and legal context, support services, and the effectiveness of current intervention and prevention approaches. It concludes by considering the gaps in the evidence base. Elder abuse is a serious and potentially growing problem, but unfortunately research in this area is in its infancy and data are scarce.

Australia's welfare 2019: data insights

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This biennial welfare series presents statistics and analysis on social welfare services and needs in Australia. The 2019 report is presented in a new format, with a brief report, a data insights report, and a data snapshots website. The data insights report features an overview of the welfare data landscape and articles on selected welfare topics; these include: Intergenerational transmission of disadvantage in Australia; Income support over the past 20 years; Income support among working-age Indigenous Australians; The future of work: using skills data for better job outcomes; Disability services and statistics: past, present and future; Elder abuse: context, concepts and challenges; and An innovative linked data platform to improve the wellbeing of children - the South Australian Early Childhood Data Project.

Protecting older persons from lifethreatening and fatal abuse : should Western Australian criminal law do more?

Blake M
University of Western Australia Law Review v. 45 no. 2 Jul 2019: 195-215
This article considers how criminal law addresses life-threatening or fatal elder abuse in Western Australia, drawing on recent inquiries by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Western Australian Parliament. Sections include: current protections offered by the WA criminal law, prosecutions for life-threatening or fatal forms of elder abuse, what do the case studies show?, and a proportionate response to a particular social harm.

Adult safeguarding laws: reviewing the proposal for a NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner

Roth L
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2019.
In December 2018, the New South Wales Premier announced that they would establish a powerful and independent Ageing and Disability Commissioner to investigate and address the abuse of older people and adults with disability. This briefing paper considers the context of such a role and similar schemes in Australia and overseas. It looks at the prevalence of abuse of older people and adults with disability, outlines existing agencies and adult safeguarding laws that play a role in protecting these groups from abuse, and considers recommendations to establish agencies to protect vulnerable or at-risk adults from abuse and neglect.

Draft strategy to respond to the abuse of older people (elder abuse): WA have your say

Western Australia. Dept. of Communities
Perth, W.A. : Western Australia Dept. of Communities, 2019
The Western Australian Government is working to determine what actions are needed to prevent and respond to elder abuse. As part of this work, this draft strategy has been released for public comment. The document sets out the priority areas for action and explains how they will be achieved, and also provides background information on the nature and characteristics of elder abuse. This strategy is intended to guide government agencies and the community towards greater awareness and understanding of the causes, signs and consequences of elder abuse and guide collective action to prevent and address this form of abuse.

Elder abuse: key issues and emerging evidence

Dean A
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of elder abuse in Australia, and highlights the implications for policy-makers and practitioners. It reviews what is known about the nature and definition of elder abuse, the prevalence of elder abuse in community and institutional care settings, and the victim, perpetrator, and contextual risk factors. The paper also describes current initiatives, policy frameworks, and emerging practice that aim to prevent and address this type of abuse against older people. Elder abuse has gained increased recognition in recent years but further research is needed to help guide policy and practice.

Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, and ensuring proper clinical and medical care standards are maintained and practised: final report

Siewert R
Canberra, ACT : Commonwealth of Australia, 2019.
This report presenting the findings and recommendations of an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Government's Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices. The inquiry was called following incidents of poor quality care and abuse at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Facility in South Australia, with evidence coming to light of systemic issues affecting aged care services throughout Australia. The inquiry also investigated the adequacy and effectiveness of complaints handling processes at a state and federal level, consumer awareness of complaints mechanisms, reporting and feedback mechanisms, responses to reports of adverse incidents, medication handling and drug administration practices, injury monitoring and reporting, mandatory reporting of serious injury and mortality incidents, and the division of responsibility and accountability between residents, staff, aged care providers, and the state and the federal governments. This inquiry has taken two years to complete, and related reforms and new inquiries that have commenced in this period are also noted.

Assisting families with ageing-related relationship issues.

Mance P
CFCA short article 2 May 2019
In 2016, Relationship Australia developed the Elder Relationship Services Pilot Program to help address conflict within families around ageing-related issues. This is a significant and growing problem arising from the ageing of Australia's population and there is a service gap in the suite of alternative dispute resolution services for older people and their families. The Elder Relationship Services Pilot Program aimed to prevent and resolve family conflict, assist families to have difficult conversations, help families with elder people to plan for the future, support family members to resolve differences in ways that improve their relationships, and help families to make decisions that protect the wishes, rights and safety of family members. This article describes the program, reviews the presenting issues of clients, and notes some evaluation findings.

Insights into abuse of older people: analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics datasets

Hill T and Katz I
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
This study is part of a broader project into the prevalence of elder abuse in Australia. Though no Australian datasets currently measure all of the elements of abuse against older people, a previous scoping study identified several sources at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that could potentially provide data on some aspects of this type of abuse. This study follows up on these ABS sources to learn what can be known about elder abuse and identify gaps in the data in existing sources. Reviewing the Personal Safety Survey, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), the Crime Victimisation Survey, and the Recorded Crime Victims data, it investigates what evidence these sources provide on sexual violence and sexual abuse, partner violence and emotional abuse, economic abuse, and sense of safety. The study finds that though this existing data provides insights into the prevalence and nature of abuse of older people, they are not able to provide a robust estimation of abuse or much information about the dynamics and perpetrators of abuse or abuse in residential or other formal settings.

Insights into vulnerabilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over: 2019 - in brief

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
"This report shows that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over have complex and varied needs. It brings together data from more than 20 sources to identify potential measures or factors which may be associated with vulnerability to abuse. The report covers demographic characteristics of this cohort, along with outcome and service use information related to aged care, health and functioning, social and emotional wellbeing, housing and homelessness, financial circumstances, alcohol and substance use, traumatic life events and safety."

National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023

Council of Attorneys-General (Australia), Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Attorney-General's Dept.,c2019
The Australian Government is working collaboratively with all state and territory governments to reduce the prevalence, severity and impact of elder abuse. This national plan is a key initiative in developing a coordinated national response. This plan, endorsed by the Council of Attorneys-General, provides an overview of the key priority issues involved and initial agreed actions to address them. The key priority areas are: build our understanding of abuse of older people; build community awareness to create the momentum for change; continue to strengthen our service responses; help people better plan for their future; and strengthen safeguards for vulnerable older people. The plan describes why each of these priority areas is important, outlines high level initiatives for governments to pursue, and notes the timeframe for their expected achievement. An implementation plan is being developed to provide further detail.

The epidemiology of sexual assault of older female nursing home residents, in Victoria Australia, between 2000-2015.

Smith D, Cunningham N, Willoughby M, Young C, Odell M, Ibrahim J and Bugeja L
Legal Medicine v. 36 Feb 2019: 89-95
This article adds to what is known about the prevalence and nature of sexual assault of older women in nursing home settings. The cases of alleged sexual assaults referred to a clinical forensic examiner in Victoria between 2000 and 2015 were analysed. In this period, 28 forensic medical examinations were identified, though of course the actual number may be greater, due to under-reporting or non-identification. The cases showed that many of the alleged victims had physical and cognitive impairments and that injuries were infrequent. The findings highlight many gaps in what is known and the need for more data.

A future without violence: quality, safeguarding and oversight to prevent and address violence against people with disability in institutional settings

Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018.
This report examines mechanisms for quality, safeguarding and oversight in the disability sector, focusing on their role and effectiveness in preventing and addressing violence against people in institutional settings. It investigates how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework impact and interact with the protections offered by states and territories and how government can strengthen these mechanisms in the future. The study involved a literature review, mapping of existing mechanisms, and national consultations. The report discusses the findings and makes recommendations for strengthening the system.

Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile, 2016

Burczycka M and Conroy S
Ottawa, Ont. : Statistics Canada, 2018.
"[This series] is an annual report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the Federal Family Violence Initiative. Since 1998, this report has provided current data on the nature and extent of family violence in Canada, as well as analysis of trends over time. The information presented here is used extensively to monitor changes that inform policy makers and the public. The 2016 edition of the report features an in-depth analysis of self-reported stalking in Canada, using data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians' Safety (Victimization). This featured section examines the nature and prevalence of self-reported stalking, including how stalking behaviour has changed over time. A particular focus on intimate partner stalking is also presented, including an overview of how stalking that occurs in the context of these relationships differs from other kinds of stalking in important ways. The featured section also provides a multivariate analysis of various risk factors that impact the odds of stalking victimization, both within and outside of intimate partner relationships. As in past years, this year's report also includes sections dedicated to police-reported data on family violence in general, intimate partner violence specifically, family violence against children and youth, and family violence against seniors. Presented in a fact sheet format accompanied by detailed data tables, these sections provide readers with key findings for 2016 from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and the Homicide Survey. For the first time in 2016, these sections also include an analysis of persons accused of family violence."

Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile, 2017

Burczycka M, Conroy S and Simpson L
Ottawa, Ont. : Statistics Canada, 2018.
"[This series] is an annual report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the Federal Family Violence Initiative. Since 1998, this report has provided current data on the nature and extent of family violence in Canada, as well as analysis of trends over time. The information presented here is used extensively to monitor changes that inform policy makers and the public. The 2017 edition of the report features sections dedicated to police-reported data on family violence against children and youth, intimate partner violence and family violence against seniors. Presented in a fact sheet format accompanied by detailed data tables, these sections provide readers with key findings for 2017 from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and the Homicide Survey. For the first time in 2017, these sections also include an analysis of family violence in urban and rural areas."

Bridging the gap between responses to elder abuse and responses to family and domestic violence in rural and remote communities.

Warren A and Blundell B
Peer reviewed papers from the FRSA 2018 National Conference : be the change - leaving no one behind. Fyshwick, ACT : Family & Relationship Services Australia, 2018: 76-85
This paper highlights findings from a systematic scoping literature review about prevention and service responses to elder abuse in rural and remote communities. As the evidence on elder abuse is limited, the review was expanded to domestic and family violence. Seven key responses were identified: advocacy, safety planning, community approaches, interagency collaboration, education, abuse screening, and crisis and transitional services. The findings highlight gaps in elder abuse service provision as well as the need for more collaboration - both formal and informal - between practitioners from the elder abuse and family and domestic violence sectors.

An integrated therapeutic and case management model in elder abuse intervention.

Stott J
Peer reviewed papers from the FRSA 2018 National Conference : be the change - leaving no one behind. Fyshwick, ACT : Family & Relationship Services Australia, 2018: 70-75
This paper discusses issues in working with older people who have experienced abuse, based on the experiences of Relationships Australia South Australia. The paper first outlines the nature and prevalence of elder abuse and presents insights from older people on their experiences of abuse. It then discusses learnings from Relationships Australia South Australia's therapeutic and case management model, including mechanisms that facilitate safe and therapeutic conversations and what some of the clients found most and least helpful.

Preventing and responding to abuse of older people (elder abuse): NSW Interagency Policy

New South Wales, New South Wales. Dept. of Family and Community Services
Ashfield, N.S.W. : Dept. of Family and Community Services, Inclusion and Early Intervention, 2018.
This policy sets out the approach for preventing and responding to abuse of older people for New South Wales Government agencies. It describes the key parameters of abuse of older people, including types and risk factors; sets out the broad framework for responding to abuse of older people in New South Wales; describes the requirements for agencies in dealing with abuse of older people, and sets out considerations for information sharing and decision-making. Other agencies and service providers may also find this information useful. This policy builds on the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020.

NSW Elder Abuse Inquiry progress report

New South Wales, New South Wales. Dept. of Family and Community Services
Ashfield, N.S.W. : Dept. of Family and Community Services, Inclusion and Early Intervention, 2018
In 2016, the Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2 conducted an inquiry into elder abuse in New South Wales, making recommendations on how to build an effective policy, legal and service framework for preventing, investigating, and responding to elder abuse. This progress report highlights the achievements made up to December 2017 towards implementing these recommendations, and highlights the State Government's commitment to strengthening the service system.

To investigate if supported decision making will reduce elder financial abuse in Australia

Roche B
Acton, A.C.T. : The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia, 2018
Supported by a Winston Churchill Fellowship, the author visited agencies, institutes, associations, and authorities in England, Scotland and Canada to investigate if supported decision making could reduce elder financial abuse in Australia. Ageing and dementia are major contributing factors of elder abuse. The baby boomer generation is particularly vulnerable to elder financial abuse as they are the wealthiest generation in history, unfortunately often leading to resentment and a sense of entitlement. Too often parents or grandparents are guilted or harassed into becoming the major financiers to their family, and the majority of these family agreements are informal, with no documentation, are never repaid and often invisible to other family members. In the context of several studies and inquiries underway in Australia at the moment into the nature and prevention of elder abuse, this fellowship study focuses on the progress being made towards supported decision making overseas in Canada and the United Kingdom, the safeguards in place to address undue influence and financial exploitation, and whether there is evidence that supported decision making reduced elder financial abuse. The author, a public trustee for people with a cognitive disability in Western Australia, then considers the implications for Australia.

2017 AMA Aged Care Survey report

Australian Medical Association
Barton, ACT : Australian Medical Association, 2018.
This report provides insights into access to medical care in aged care settings. It presents findings from a survey of 608 general practitioners, consultant physicians, and palliative medicine and geriatrician specialists, all members of the Australian Medical Association, regarding their impressions and experiences of providing medical care to older people. Topics include the medical practitioners' age, gender, and practice arrangements, number of patients seen, time spent with patients, amount of 'non-contact time' and paperwork, appropriateness of fees and funding, after hours availability, witnessing elder abuse, appropriateness of Aged Care Accreditation Standards, the My Aged Care website, Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) responses, adequate processes to ensure a reliable clinical handover, access to infrastructure such as parking, internet, and visiting rooms, and intentions and motivations for providing services to aged care settings. Some comparisons are also provided with findings from earlier surveys from 2008, 2012, and 2015.
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