Outcomes from Elder Abuse prevention Services
Elder abuse in our community is pervasive and hidden from view. The most challenging aspect of elder abuse is that it is significantly under-reported and most often perpetrated by people closest to the victim, such as adult children, spouses or care givers. While elder abuse is described as a form of family violence, there are a few clear differences between elder abuse and the type of family violence which is commonly experienced by women and children. One of the critical differences is that it is often intergenerational and that the victim of elder abuse often wants to maintain relationships with the whole family, including the perpetrator.
Elder abuse can take many forms and frequently involve a family member or a person very close to the older person. To date most approaches in managing Elder Abuse involve a legal framework.. Whilst legal intervention can be necessary in elder Abuse older people are reluctant to commence a legal pathway for fear of losing the relationship.
Better Place Australia has developed a model for managing conflict for older Australians and preventing abuse of older people. Our Respecting Elders service (established in 2017), built within a framework of mediation and counselling, provides a prevention and early intervention response, which ultimately seeks to address conflict before it escalates and causes harm.
Since May 2017 Better Place Australia has received more than 160 referrals into the program. This presentation will focus on the data and outcomes of the Respecting Elders Service including;
- Predominant types of abuse being seen
- Demographics of clients referred into the program
- What services such as family meetings, counselling are being utilised
- What outcomes are being reported by clients?
- Length of time cases take to resolution