We need a Territory specific plan to protect elderly Canberrans who are vulnerable to abuse, Shadow Minister for Seniors Nicole Lawder said.
On the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Ms Lawder is calling for localised action to combat the abuse of older people in Canberra.
While the ACT Government supported the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-23, there was no dedicated funding in its recent budget for an ACT Implementation Plan.
An ACT Implementation Plan would contain measurable actions, goals and targets to help the Territory government achieve objectives set out in the national plan.
“Sadly, we know that some older people in Canberra are suffering from financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse – often at the hands of people they know,” Ms Lawder said.
“Often victims don’t recognise the abuse. When they do, victims don’t always know where to go for help.
“There is also confusion in the broader community about what constitutes elder abuse and how to identify it is occurring.
“We are morally compelled to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect elderly Canberrans from abuse and give them the support they need.
“If the ACT does not take strong, measurable action, I have real concerns that more elderly Canberrans will become victims of abuse as our elderly population grows.
“An awareness campaign to help the community identify signs of elder abuse, how to stop it and where to go to for help would be an important component of an ACT Implementation Plan.
“Elderly Canberrans are respected and loved members of our community and we must do all we can to ensure they are cared for,” Ms Lawder said.