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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

May 26, 2021 |

Topic: Rights & Responsibilities

Elder abuse can be defined as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person”1. Whilst it is hard to accept that someone would want to deliberately cause harm and distress to an older person, it is still identified as an increasing, widespread problem.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and represents the one day in the year that the world unites and voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted upon older generations. Evidence suggests that elder abuse occurs globally in both developing and developed countries but the rate of occurrence is underestimated or hidden from society2. Whilst the full extent of elder abuse is unknown, the moral and social significance has engaged international response to protecting the health and human rights of older people. 

COVID-19 has had an extensive impact on older individuals’ wellbeing, due to their higher risk of morbidity and mortality following infection; as well as the increased social restrictions they have faced. With the resulting lockdown, increased isolation and reduced care, violence against older individuals has risen3.  A staggering 39.2% of people living in Australian aged care facilities have experienced elder abuse in the form of neglect, emotional abuse or physical abuse4

Health and social care organisations must ensure they and their staff are equipped with the right tools to identify, minimise and prevent abuse happening to those who are most in need of protection. 

Our new course Abuse, Unexplained Absences and SIRS, takes an indepth look at the new Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) released earlier this year. Learners will be taken through the new framework step by step, discussing different types of abuse, their signs and symptoms and what the responsibilities are for reporting abuse and serious incidents.

The course offers extensive information for learners around the definition of reportable incidents such as; unexplained absences and inappropriate restraint, and demonstrates the calculated steps required to report and manage the situation. 

1 https://www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day.html

2 https://www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day.html

3 https://www.un.org/en/observances/elder-abuse-awareness-day/

4 Office of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2020

World Elder abuse awareness day is observed every year on June 15, It represents the one day in the year when the world voices its opposition to the suffering inflicted to some of our older generation
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