Responding to elder abuse: Rights, safety and participation

Responding to elder abuse: Rights, safety and participation

Adam Dean and Megan Frost

This webinar outlined emerging evidence on the prevalence and risks associated with elder abuse, and discussed implications for policy and practice.

One Pensive Rural Senior Citizen Male Man Horizontal Outdoor

This webinar was held on Wednesday 28 August 2019.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

Elder abuse has gained increasing attention in Australia over recent years, with several public inquiries highlighting the need to develop comprehensive and coordinated responses to address it. The abuse of older adults is often hidden, can take many forms and can occur in a range of contexts. In light of these complexities, it can be challenging for policy makers and practitioners to effectively respond to address elder abuse.

This webinar presented an overview of elder abuse in Australia, with a focus on what it is, emerging evidence on its prevalence, its effects and risk factors, and the implications for policy and practice. The presenters discussed some of the main challenges involved in responding to the complexities of elder abuse, including the need to work in coordinated and flexible ways to address the particular circumstances of older people and their families. This approach was illustrated with a case example of an elder mediation and support service piloted by Relationships Australia NSW that aims to balance the rights, safety and participation of older adults in response to elder abuse. 

This webinar is of interest to policy makers and practitioners working in family and community welfare sectors, including family relationship services, family violence, primary and allied health, aged care, disability, legal services and related areas of practice.

Related resource

  • Elder abuse: Key issues and emerging evidence
    This CFCA paper provides an overview of elder abuse in Australia. It discusses key issues involved in how elder abuse is defined and examines its prevalence, impact and associated risk factors, with a focus on implications of recent research for policy and practice.

Featured image: GettyImages/VikramRaghuvanshi

About the presenters

Adam Dean

Adam is a Senior Research Officer in the CFCA information exchange, based at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. He works across a range of knowledge translation activities within CFCA, including working in close collaboration with sector professionals to share research and practice expertise across the child, family and community welfare sector. Adam is the author of a recent paper on elder abuse that explores its key issues and emerging evidence on its prevalence, impacts and risk factors.

Megan Frost

Megan is a social worker, lawyer and mediator by training based at Relationships Australia NSW, with over 25 years of experience working in the community services sector. Since joining Relationships Australia NSW in 2000, she has worked in direct service delivery and in program design, coordination and management, including the position of founding manager of the Northern Beaches Family Relationship Centre. Currently, Megan is coordinating the implementation of a new elder mediation and support service, funded by the NSW Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund.

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