QLD Government launches elder abuse campaign

Les Jackson, Coralee O'Rourke and QPS Officer at No excuse for elder abuse campaign launch. Image contrbiuted
Les Jackson, Coralee O'Rourke and QPS Officer at No excuse for elder abuse campaign launch. Image contrbiuted
UnitingCare Community has welcomed the Queensland Government's announcement this week of a new campaign to address the growing issue of elder abuse.   Throughout June, the government's "No Excuse for Elder Abuse" campaign will be promoted in medical centres and licensed venues, shopping centres, on buses, and via digital and social media advertising.   The campaign aims to make it absolutely clear there is never an excuse for elder abuse, by highlighting the types of excuses perpetrators commonly use and what actions the community can take to prevent it.   Seniors services, non-government organisations, councils, libraries, hospitals, bowls clubs and more will receive posters and help cards to raise awareness of elder abuse among their clients and help connect them to the range of supports and services available across the state.   Les Jackson, Coordinator of the UnitingCare Community Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, attended the launch of the No excuse for elder abuse campaign by Minister for Seniors Coralee O'Rourke in Brisbane on 25 May.   Mr Jackson believes the campaign will help raise awareness of this significant issue.   "Sadly elder abuse is on the rise and more needs to be done to prevent the physical, emotional and financial harm inflicted on many older people," Mr Jackson said.   "What makes this campaign stand out is that it targets elder abuse perpetrators by highlighting excuses used by family members - the most common abusers - to justify abusing their parents.   For example: 'dad should know I've always had a temper' or 'the house is my payment for looking after mum'."   "We will be supporting this campaign through our Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, and we hope that greater awareness will both prevent the abuse from occurring, and encourage older people and others to report abuse when it occurs."   UnitingCare Community operates the 1300 651 192 Elder Abuse Helpline, which offers support, information and referrals to anyone who experiences, witnesses or suspects abuse of an older person.   Last financial year, the Elder Abuse Helpline recorded 1,282 abuse notifications, 1,184 victims, 1,442 perpetrators, and 1,581 abuse cases.   Mr Jackson said the problem is growing and the number of abuse reports received annually has increased nearly 600 per cent since the Elder Abuse Helpline first started in November 1999.   Anyone wishing to report elder abuse can call the Elder Abuse helpline on 1300 651 192.   In addition to providing support and advice to elder abuse victims, UnitingCare Community also conducts an active program of community education sessions.   The organisation also provides training for professionals involved in caring for older people.   "Elder abuse comes in many forms, from physical abuse, to verbal, emotional and sexual abuse, to raiding the bank accounts of older people.   Often it is family members, carers or other people the victim knows and trusts that are the perpetrators," Mr Jackson said.   "We are pleased that this new elder abuse campaign also includes a dedicated police resource to handle elder abuse. This helps send the message that elder abuse is a very serious crime."

Topics:  elder abuse government qld qps

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