Elder abuse in spotlight

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph

SCALES Community Legal Centre in Rockingham and the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre in Mirrabooka have teamed up with the Older People’s Rights Service to kickstart a campaign on elder abuse in the community.

Under the Purple Road Campaign, the team at SCALES Rockingham and OPRS are hoping to kickstart the conversation on elder abuse; a widespread and often taboo subject which Older People’s Peer Education Scheme project officer Bruce Carstairs says is a “highly sensitive” issue.

“Elder abuse is harm brought to any older person intentionally or unintention-ally by a person in a position of implied trust,” Mr Carstairs said.

“It’s a highly sensitive issue in the community because family are responsible for 70 per cent of elder abuse.”

Mr Carstairs said the vast majority of elder abuse cases stemmed from financial issues and were often coupled with psychological pressures such as bullying and social isolation.

“We want to lift the profile of elder abuse and create awareness that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject,” he said.

As part of the campaign, the NSCLC has created its own “Purple Road” made up of hundreds of handmade purple flowers, and SCALES Rockingham is encouraging people in Rockingham and Kwinana to come together to create their own.

The local purple road will begin its journey at the Seniors and Carers Expo in Rockingham on October 6 and will be displayed at libraries and other community facilities and events.

If anyone is affected or witnesses instances of elder abuse, they can contact the Older People’s Rights Service on 9440 1663.

Meanwhile, for more information on the Purple Road, phone SCALES Rockingham on 9550 0400.

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