Tag Archive: seniors rights

  1. EVENT: Chinese Family Day – respecting elders

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    Join us for a Family Day about respecting elders and treating them with dignity. There will be speeches from a variety of services, providing information and helpful strategies on how to treat our elders respectfully. Family members of all ages are encouraged to attend!

    Date:           Saturday 14 April 2018

    Time:           9.30am – 1.30pm

    Venue:         Box Hill Town Hall, 1022 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill – in the Boyland Room & Visual Art Room

    Language:   Mandarin and Cantonese (with interpreters)

    Morning Tea provided

    Booking essential – please contact Chinese Community Social Services Centre on (03) 9898 1965.

    Download the flyer (.PDF)

    This event is supported by Eastern Community Legal Centre, Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc., the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Victorian Government.

  2. Older and Wiser: ECLC launches new legal fact sheets for seniors

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    Eastern Community Legal Centre launched two new legal fact sheets for seniors at the Chinese Workers Network on Wednesday 6 September. The resources provide older members of the Chinese community with information in simplified and traditional Chinese about important legal issues that affect most people later in life: Wills and Grandparents’ Rights.

    Almost a quarter of ECLC’s clients speak a language other than English at home, the most common being Mandarin and Cantonese. The fact sheets have been developed in community language to provide accessible information that prevents legal problems from arising.

    No one wants to think about end of life issues and what happens after we’re gone, but making a Will can ensure that your wishes are known and respected.  The Wills fact sheet includes things that need to be considered when making a new Will or updating an existing Will.

    Likewise, it can be a stressful time for families when parents separate.  Grandparents will want to continue to spend time with their grandchildren, but may feel uncertain about their rights and what will happen if their grandchildren are no longer living with both of their parents.  The Grandparents’ Rights fact sheet includes things to consider when you want to see your grandchild.

    The fact sheets are available to download:

    The Wills and Grandparents’ Rights fact sheets build on the ECLC’s previous publication, Older and Wiser, which can be found on the Centre’s resources page.

    ECLC would like to that Whitehorse City Council for their support of this project.

  3. Karma, or kartha? Elder abuse in CALD communities

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    By Aparna Ananthuni

    A sad and shocking reality for many older members from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia is the experience of elder abuse.

    To raise awareness of this issue and offer advice to those suffering, a workshop event was held for members of the Indian Senior Citizens Association (ISCA) to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 25 June. Funded by a grant from the Victoria Law Foundation, the “Matter of Trust” workshop was organised by Jacqui D’Silva (Program Coordinator at Eastern Community Legal Centre, ECLC), Dr Inderjit Jasal (Vice President of ISCA), award winning community volunteer and financial expert Dilnaz Billimoria, and Anand Shome of IndianCare.

    The workshop included a role-play scenario and presentations by several agencies including Centrelink, Victoria Police, Department of Justice, Eastern Community Legal Centre and Ringwood Family Relationship Centre.

    The need for greater awareness of elder abuse in CALD communities was first raised some years ago by Leigh Gilmore, the Senior Sheriff’s Officer of the Department of Justice, who noted increasing evictions of older people from their homes.

    Dilnaz Billimoria explains how older couples will often sell their homes and businesses to come and live with their adult children, frequently to help them out, financially.

    “They shift their lives. They find that initially it’s all great…and [then] they’re finding that suddenly things have changed.”

    The younger couple asks them to help pay for a second mortgage. Or help them start a business.

    “You’ll be shocked, the parents do it all the time,” she says. “Then, when things go bust and they can’t pay, the bank says, ‘Sorry, but you’re the guarantor’.”

    And it’s not just financial abuse. Elders, even ones that have been in Australia for a number of years, can be physically and emotionally bullied, isolated without means of transport, and even locked in the home.

    There is a cultural dimension to the way abused Indian elders might view their situation. “A lot of Indian senior citizens, even though they’re suffering, believe that this is part of their karma and they actually accept it,” Billimoria says.

    The response to the workshop from the audience of around 50 Indian senior citizens was, Billimoria says, “absolutely amazing”.

    “Initially they were aghast to know that this was happening, but about 50 per cent of them knew it was happening to a “friend” – perhaps themselves – and they had so many questions as to what they can do to stop it,” she says.

    For older people, there is no need to fear being kicked out of your house or prevented from seeing grandchildren or other members of the family, regardless of what your visa status is or who owns the house you’re living in. Moreover, as explained in the workshop, those on a Dependent Visa can still access Centrelink services.

    All Australian government agencies can provide free translation interpretation services, as well as confidential meetings. There is also short-term emergency housing available.

    But, as Dilnaz Billimoria says, don’t let it get to that stage. Take control. Don’t give away all your money. Make a will. Have an executor. Talk to someone.

    “Someone at the event came up with the phrase, ‘It’s karma versus kartha’. There are some senior citizens who are realising, ‘I’m not going tolerate this rubbish and I’m going to take action’.”

    Hear hear!

    If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, please contact Eastern Community Legal Centre

    First published in Indian Link. Reproduced here with permission.