Respecting Elders – A Preventative and Treatment Strategy for Elder Abuse

Symposium: Elder abuse
Wednesday 25 July, 1230 – 1250


Jenni Dickson
FMC Mediation And Counselling Victoria

Elder abuse has become an increasing social issue in Australia. Although this is difficult to determine the rate of occurrence, it may affect more than 5-10% or higher in older Australians and is typically under reported.

Respecting Elders is a philanthropically funded service that supports older people in resolving their conflict and preventing elder abuse. Supported by the Lord Mayor Charitable Foundation Innovation Grant Program in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria and the Eastern Community Legal Centre.

Respecting Elders Support and Conflict Service aims to stop abuse if it is occurring and prevent those at risk of suffering elder abuse.
Respecting Elders Service offers a strategy for prevention of elder abuse and an alternative treatment pathway. At present, the options for Seniors facing issues of conflict and elder abuse are often very punitive. Older people struggle with defining and taking a course of action, which could have legal implications. They also want to preserve the relationship in which they find themselves in conflict with.

This model ensures older people are actively involved in their decision making, not be frightened to express their wishes and to have an alternative to legal services for dealing with issues of financial and emotional abuse.

This presentation will discuss the development of the service ,the model and will utilise case studies and evaluation data to demonstrate how better outcomes can be achieved for the older person.