Page updated March 21, 2019

Health justice partnership to act on elder abuse

March 21, 2019

Eastern Health and Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) have partnered to provide a new support system to people experiencing elder abuse across Melbourne’s East.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter, this week launched The national plan to respond to the abuse of older Australians. Under the plan, Eastern Health and ECLC will implement a Health Justice Partnership, which involves skilled lawyers and financial counsellors working alongside the healthcare team to provide a comprehensive response to elder abuse.

Eastern Health Executive Director, Clinical Operations Shannon Wight said Eastern Health has a crucial role to play to work with older people who are experiencing or at risk of abuse.

“The proposed health justice partnership ensures that our health service builds on work already underway within Eastern Health to better identify and respond to older people experiencing abuse, while maintaining their right to making choices about how their safety is protected.”

ECLC Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith said, “There has been a growing movement of people and agencies in the east who have been concerned about the older people experiencing abuse. This project builds on the longstanding work of Eastern Elder Abuse Network and all of the committed agencies, professionals and community members who have advocated for a stronger response for highly vulnerable older community members.”

“While ECLC has provided free legal advice and other resources for the past decade to help prevent elder abuse in the community, this funding will enable ECLC and Eastern Health to identify and respond to elder abuse as early as possible.”

Eastern Health, ECLC and HICSA (Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association) will work with police, seniors rights advocates, community health providers, aged care providers, the Office of Public Advocate, and governments to deliver integrated services to older people in the eastern region of Melbourne.

Funding for the plan, announced by Attorney-General, Christian Porter, is part of an $18.3 million funding package that is being delivered until 2022 under the Australian Government’s national plan to address elder abuse.

The partnership was one of 12 services funded across Australia under the national plan.

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