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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020: AASW calls for better resourcing of the aged care sector



The AASW is calling on better resourcing and funding for the aged care sector on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020.

AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many people who are experiencing elder abuse have become hidden from view.

“Social workers know that it is difficult to encourage older people to disclose their experience of elder abuse at the best of times, and with many aged care services put on hold, workers are no longer going into the homes of older people and the abuse, neglect, control or violence they are experiencing by those who they depend upon, is harder to expose.

“There are also thousands of older people across Australia waiting for an aged care package to become available. How many of those people are suffering in silence, being abused by carers with no one from the outside world knowing that assistance is needed now?”

Ms Craik continued, “The aged care sector urgently needs extra funding to meet the increasing demand of home care packages, and to ensure staff are properly trained to pick up on the signs of elder abuse in community and aged care settings.  We also need an increased community awareness of what elder abuse is and the many ways in which this can present.

“Our submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission addressed these concerns and the AASW hopes to see systemic change throughout the aged care sector when the Commission releases its recommendations.

“Elder abuse can take many forms and we all have a responsibility to know the signs and support older people to get help.”