Page updated May 6, 2021

Keeping older people safe, valued, and respected

May 3, 2021

The Eastern Elder Abuse Network (EEAN) recently held its first meeting for the year to continue achieving it vision of ‘A world where older people are safe, valued and respected’ in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and beyond.

The meeting had a full agenda to tackle this rising social issue, not just locally but around the nation and the world.

Guest speaker, Bev Lange, Executive Officer from Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) highlighted EAAA’s online national elder abuse knowledge hub, COMPASS which raises awareness of elder abuse and simplifies the process of connecting people to services and information tackling elder abuse across Australia.

ECLC presented the Preventing Abuse of Older People – A Primary Prevention Framework with EEAN members. Developed with the EEAN Primary Prevention Working Group, the Framework is a primary prevention roadmap to address and prevent the abuse of older people. The Framework is expected to be released in June 2021.

ECLC’s Managing Lawyer of Elder Abuse Shahaan Murray gave an overview of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“Implementing the recommendations from the commission is going to be key – this is just the start of the process,” said Shahaan.

While there are 148 recommendations, Shahaan said the commissioners didn’t agree on all recommendations, particularly regarding the structure of a more independent model vs government involvement model.

There are also different recommendations about how to implement and fund the recommendations. A levy has been flagged.

The recommendations don’t give enough power for enforcing and monitoring and they lack coherence about the over-arching model proposed.

Shahaan also reflected on the recently released World Health Organization Global Report on Ageism and said it is an interesting and significant report.

“However, it fails to look into ageism as a potential driver of elder abuse,” said Shahaan.

“Nonetheless, it raises some really key points around the work that can address ageism such as intergenerational work and legislative frameworks,” said Shahaan.

Check out the World Health Organization Global Report on Ageism and the Global campaign to combat ageism toolkit.

Established in 2010, EEAN now has more than 150 people representing about 50 member organisations from a wide range of sectors: local, state and federal governments, community health, legal services, police, aged care, hospital, women’s health, primary care partnerships, family violence, finance, ethno-specific and multicultural agencies, and other specialist services.


EEAN meeting timetable 2021

EEAN membership meetings are held twice a year.

The next membership meeting will be held on Wednesday 15 September.

Three working groups meet quarterly:

  1. Primary prevention – stopping elder abuse before it occurs
  2. Communication – developing consistent and shared key messages
  3. Response – establishing effective referral pathways and processes.

Check out the EEAN timetable.

If you would like to find out more about EEAN, or you are interested in joining a working group, then please email: Jill Exon or call (03) 9957 2427.

Together we can stop elder abuse

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone known and trusted. Often, elder abuse is perpetrated by someone considered to be a family member and is a form of family violence. However, it is not limited to occurring within the family unit and can also be perpetrated by a carer, friend or neighbour, who the older person is dependent upon.

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